California Attorney General Rob Bonta warned Californians not to print fake or purchase counterfeit COVID-19 vaccination cards as reports of people advertising them on social media, e-commerce sites and blogs have increased.

Bonta issued a consumer alert Wednesday morning over the fraudulent vaccination cards which are used by individuals to misrepresent themselves as fully vaccinated.

In a statement Bonta said, “These counterfeit records undermine the health and safety of Californians and are also illegal. I advise you to get your COVID-19 vaccination and the authentic vaccination record that reflects you were vaccinated. Please do not purchase a fraudulent record, do not make your own, and do not fill in blank vaccination record cards with false information.”

Bonta said forging or possessing forged documents such as a fake COVID-19 vaccination card is a crime in California. Unauthorized use of an official government agency’s seal such as the U.S. Department of Heath and Human Services or the Center for Disease Control and Prevention is a federal crime.

Bonta also urged people not post photos of their vaccination card on social media because their personal information could stolen and used in a fraud.

In early May agents from California Department of Alcohol and Beverage Control acting on a complaint, began an investigation of a bar in Clements selling fraudulent vaccination cards, leading to an arrest of the owner.

San Joaquin County District Attorney Tori Verber Salazar said in a statement after the arrest, “It is disheartening to have members in our community show flagrant disregard for public health in the midst of a pandemic. Distributing, falsifying or purchasing fake COVID-19 vaccine cards is against the law and endangers yourself and those around you."

To report suspicious activity or counterfeit COVID-19 vaccination cards residents can:

• File a complaint with the California Attorney General’s Office at ‪www.oag.ca.gov/report.‬‬‬

• Contact the local district attorney’s office, in San Joaquin County at https://www.sjgov.org/da/

• Contact the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services at 1-800-HHS-TIPS or https://oig.hhs.gov/fraud/report-fraud.

• File a complaint with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at https://www.ic3.gov.

• Contact the Tracy Press at tpnews@tracypress.com or 209-835-3030.

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.