Fake vaccine cards are being sold online for a few pounds sparking fears travellers could use them to cheat Covid passport schemes.
Scammers are reportedly using eBay to sell the cards – which bear a striking resemblance to the NHS ones given out to vaccinated people – for between £5 and £28 each.
They can be customised with details to falsely show someone has received a specific jab and on what date, an investigation found
And experts are worried they could be used by jet-setters to trick their way through airports after the Government admitted the NHS app, set to be used as a Covid passport, won’t be ready for when borders open on May 17.
Downing Street – which is set to announce which countries are on its ‘green list’ tomorrow – has said “another approach” to proving inoculation status will have to be used in the interim.
Multiple countries have already suggested they will accept vaccination certificates in place of PCR tests, though it’s still not clear what form this will take.
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Martin McKee, professor of European public health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said he feared many may be able to slip through the net.
He told the Telegraph : “Using a forged vaccine certificate is stupid and criminal.
“It puts the bearer and those around them at risk. All of our defences rely on people being honest. If they do not, it will be the hard-working NHS staff who have to pick up the pieces.”
The newspaper bought one of the cards for £5 from an eBay fraudster whose listing said they had sold more than 140 in three days.
As part of the purchase, the scammer also provided Pfizer vaccine batch numbers to add to their cards.
Some sellers are maintaining that the cards are for people who have genuinely been vaccinated but misplaced the cards given to them.
One seller was more brazen, making it clear that a batch number could be used on multiple purchases, with their price dropping to £3.50 when bought in threes, reports the Telegraph.
An eBay spokesman said: “Currently those who have had a vaccine are not afforded any travel privileges and are not exempt from any lockdown restrictions. These are appointment reminder cards only.
“However, we have removed these listings to prevent any attempt to resell government documents for personal profit.”
A Government spokesman added that such cards are “not an immunity certification” and said they shouldn’t be sold “outside the vaccination programme”.