Stretch your Dollar: The many risks fake COVID vaccine cards can bring

Stretch Your Dollar

(WTNH) — As more venues start to require so-called “vaccine passports,” there are concerns people are seeking out fake ones to avoid getting the vaccine, ultimately putting the public at risk when it’s believed you’re protected. In today’s Stretch your Dollar, we take a look at what could be a growing problem.

If you’ve gotten a covid-19 vaccine, you probably have one the vaccine card, which is quickly becoming the ticket to a safe return to normalcy. But, experts warn fraudulent cards are popping up for sale online.

RELATED: Buying or selling fake COVID-19 vaccination cards could land you in hot water

Mark Ostrowski, Head of engineering at checkpoint Software, said, “We’ve seen a 300% increase from what was available in December.”

According to cybersecurity firm Checkpoint – some listings on the dark web may show offers for a fake vaccine certificate at $150. One vendor was allegedly accepting the cryptocurrency bitcoin as a payment method to avoid being traced. Doctors say those counterfeit cards could pose a risk to public health.

“Those that are hesitant to get the vaccine, for whatever reason, may turn to alternatives,” Dr. John Brownstein said. “They potentially have real risk of carrying the virus and transmitting to others.”

The White House says it’s setting national guidelines for managing vaccine passports, which provides digital proof you’ve been vaccinated or recently tested negative for COVID.

But as New York pilots voluntary vaccine passports, cybersecurity experts are raising concerns about fraud and the potential for hackers to gain access to personal information.

Experts say once you get your vaccine, keep your vaccine card in a safe place and even scan it to your phone.

If you lose that card, go back to the place you got your shot; they should be keeping record. Never purchase one on the internet.

Staples and Home Depot are offering to laminate legit COVID vaccine cards for fully vaccinated people, free of charge. Another way to make sure your card is safe and doesn’t get damaged over time.

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