JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Attorney General Ashley Moody is asking online platforms to work to prevent scammers from selling fraudulent COVID-19 vaccination cards.
On Thursday, Moody specifically made the request to eBay, Shopify and Twitter.
“As the availability of COVID-19 vaccines increases, so do the number of scammers trying to exploit this health crisis for personal gain,” Moody said in a prepared statement.
Vaccination cards are issued to patients by health care providers after they receive the vaccine. Those who buy fake cards can fraudulently add personal information to the cards to falsely claim proof of vaccination.
Dr. Mohammed Reza is an infectious disease specialist. He says the deceptive cards threaten the community’s health and progress for protecting people from the virus.
“Across the board, it’s not safe for the people getting this card because they could still get the infection and spread it,” Reza said. “It undermines our efforts as a community to try and curb the spread of this virus.”
Moody is joined by a bipartisan coalition of 44 other attorneys general in raising concerns about the public health risks of fake COVID-19 vaccination cards in a letter to the companies’ chief executive officers.
In the letter, the attorneys general ask the CEOs to:
- Monitor their platforms for ads or links selling blank or fraudulently completed vaccination cards
- Promptly take down ads or links that are selling cards
- Preserve records and information about the ads and the people who were selling the cards.
A statement from Shopify reads: “Our teams have worked extensively since the start of the pandemic to proactively protect consumers from fraudulent or misleading practices relating to COVID-19. We have been proactively monitoring our platform for the sale of COVID vaccine cards since February, and all stores that we identified for violating our policies were actioned swiftly. We look forward to continuing to work collaboratively with the State Attorneys General to protect consumers from fraudulent or misleading practices related to COVID-19.”