CONSUMER ALERT: Attorney General James issues consumer alert to protect New Yorkers from dangerous fake COVID-19 vaccination cards
NEW YORK – New York Attorney General Letitia James today issued an alert to protect New Yorkers from the dangers of fake coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination cards. Selling or distributing blank or fraudulently completed vaccination cards to people who have not actually received a vaccine poses a serious threat to the health of New York City communities and will hamper progress in the fight against COVID -19. Tampering with vaccination cards and records, as well as unauthorized use of the seals of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), also violate various federal laws and New York State and are subject to civil and criminal execution.
“As the Delta variant becomes more important, it is more important than ever that New Yorkers are vaccinated against COVID-19,” said Attorney General James. “Not only do fake, fraudulently completed immunization cards violate federal and state laws and public trust, they also put the health of our communities at risk and potentially prolong this public health crisis. I strongly urge New Yorkers to reject these fake vaccination cards and get vaccinated against COVID-19, so that we can come out of this pandemic and get back to normal as soon as possible. “
COVID-19 vaccines are now available to all New Yorkers 12 years of age and older and must be administered free of charge. To find a vaccination site operated by the State of New York, please visit this state’s COVID-19 vaccine tracking website. Other vaccination sites are available online.
Legitimate CDC vaccination cards are provided to individuals once they have received the COVID-19 vaccine. If a person receives the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines – which require two doses – they will receive a vaccination card after their first dose which will be updated after the second dose. Those who receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will receive their vaccination record after their single dose. New Yorkers are asked not to share photos of this card online or on social networks, or at least to scramble private information (date of birth, vaccination batch number, etc.). Crooks can use New Yorkers’ personal information to steal their identities and use images to create fake cards.
New Yorkers can access proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a digitally negative test result on their smartphones using one of two Excelsior Pass apps, available for free from the Apple App Store and Google Play. Store. Use of the Excelsior Pass apps is voluntary, and with these apps, New Yorkers can easily retrieve and digitally store vaccination records or negative test results and avoid losing or damaging their vaccination card. . New Yorkers can find out more about the Excelsior Pass applications online.
Meanwhile, last April, Attorney General James and a bipartisan coalition of attorneys general sent letters to a number of companies asking them to act immediately to prevent the sale of fake COVID-19 vaccination cards on their platforms.
Separately, last week Attorney General James, leading a coalition of lawyers, sent a letter to Facebook, urging the company to tackle and dispel harmful and inaccurate myths about the COVID-virus. 19 and the vaccines available on its platform that targeted Latin American communities. The letter came after Attorney General James and a coalition of attorneys general sent an earlier letter to Facebook and Twitter, in March 2021, calling on companies to follow the company’s guidelines against vaccine misinformation.
In April, Attorney General James issued an alert urging New Yorkers to report illegal vaccine fees because vaccines are and always have been free.
Finally, in March, Attorney General James alerted New Yorkers to beware of scams making fraudulent promises to consumers that they could cut COVID-19 vaccine lines or receive additional stimulus payments. This alert followed a previous alert, in December 2020, where Attorney General James warned New Yorkers of potential scams offering rapid access to the COVID-19 vaccine.
Any New Yorker who believes they have been the victim of a COVID-19 vaccination card scam should contact the attorney general’s office by calling 1-800-771-7755 or filing a complaint online.