The Oregon FBI offers advice for building a digital defense against fake COVID-19 vaccine ID cards.

The delta variant is causing many Oregon governments, schools and businesses to issue new mandates concerning vaccines, testing and mask-wearing. While everyone is learning to navigate this new world, one thing is clear — more and more people will be asked to prove they are vaccinated. For some people, their employer may require it. For others, it may be the neighborhood restaurant or bar owner who wants to know your status before you are allowed to enter. 

At this point, that vaccination card people received when they got their shots is like gold. It’s not surprising that scammers are trying to make a buck on the situation by creating fraudulent cards, but there is also concern that unvaccinated people are looking to skirt the rules with unauthorized fakes.

The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center — or IC3.gov — issued a warning about this problem earlier this year. With the virus resurgence, though, it is time for a refresher.

If you did not receive the vaccine, do not buy fake vaccine cards, do not make your own vaccine cards and do not fill in blank vaccination record cards with false information. By misrepresenting yourself as vaccinated when entering schools, mass transit, workplaces, gyms or places of worship, you put yourself and others around you at risk of contracting COVID-19. Additionally, you need to know that the unauthorized use of a government agency’s seal is a violation of federal law. This includes the seals for Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Because individuals may use fake vaccine cards to misrepresent themselves as vaccinated, the FBI strongly encourages businesses, schools, places of worship and government agencies to follow CDC guidance when it comes to distancing, masking and vaccinations.

If you believe are a victim of an online scam, you should report the incident to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov or call your FBI local office.

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