Fake COVID-19 vaccination cards produced in China are now arriving by the thousands in the U.S. according to an advisory from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which reported that officers in Memphis, Tenn., are encountering counterfeit medical documents on a daily basis.
“Officers working at the port of Memphis flagged a suspicious shipment coming from Shenzhen, China, en route to the central business district of New Orleans. It was the 15th such shipment of the night,” the federal agency said in an advisory released Friday.
The contents consisted of “low-quality, counterfeit COVID-19 vaccination cards,” complete with blank spaces for names, lot number, vaccine type, government logo and other details. There were also typos, unfinished words and misspellings on the cards.
“Sometimes the manifests describe the shipments as ‘Paper Greeting Cards/Use For Greeting Card,’ sometimes they are described as ‘Paper Paper Paper’ — but they are always from China. Though they may come in packs of 20, 51, 100, there are never any attempts to conceal them in anything. They aren’t hidden in books, nor are they stuffed in the back of framed paintings. The recipients of this ubiquitous contraband are unfortunately all over the United States. This fiscal year to date, Memphis has made 121 seizures totaling 3,017 of these vaccination cards,” the advisory said.
The FBI has already warned the public that buying, selling, or using a counterfeit COVID-19 vaccination card is a crime — categorized as the unauthorized use of an official government agency seal.
“If you do not wish to receive a vaccine, that is your decision. But don’t order a counterfeit, waste my officers’ time, break the law, and misrepresent yourself,” advised Michael Neipert, Area Port Director of Memphis, in a statement.
“Just know that when you order a fake vaccination card, you are using my officers’ time — as they also seize fentanyl and methamphetamines,” he said.