CHICAGO (WAND) - Illinois' attorney general is demanding action in response to the selling of fake COVID-19 vaccination cards on the internet.
In a letter, Kwame Raoul asked CEOs of Twitter, eBay and Shopify to take steps to prevent such sales from happening. He voiced concerns about public health risks posed by these fake cards and asked the companies to take the following steps:
- 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 them.
“Not only do these fraudulent vaccination cards violate the laws of many states, but more urgently, they threaten the health of our communities and our progress in battling the COVID-19 pandemic,” Raoul said. “I am committed to protecting the health and safety of Illinois residents, and I urge the CEOs of Twitter, eBay and Shopify to take action to help us protect our communities and stop this dangerous, fraudulent practice.”
Raoul said legitimate vaccination cards are handed out by providers when a vaccine is administered to a patient. Those who buy fake cards can have their information placed on the cards or put it on themselves to make it seem like they have been vaccinated.
Illinois residents are urged to be cautious and protect themselves from scams and fraud related to COVID-19 vaccination cards. Raoul put out a consumer alert warning Illinoisans against putting pictures of vaccination cards on social media, as these cards contain personal information that scammers can use.
In addition, Raoul wants the public to avoid websites claiming to sell vaccination cards or COVID-19 doses. He said Medicare or Medicaid will not call older adults or residents to proactively officer vaccines. Residents can be vaccinated only through a designated health or vaccine clinic.
The public should contact local health care providers or local health departments to see when the vaccine will be available to them. WAND News keeps a running list of vaccination information in central Illinois, which can be found here.
More vaccine information can be found at no charge on the Illinois Attorney General's website and on the Illinois Department of Public Health website. People can report a website selling fake vaccination cards or a vaccine card scam by contacting the Attorney General's Consumer Fraud Hotline at 1-800-386-5438 (Chicago), 1-800-243-0618 (Springfield) or 1-800-243-0607 (Carbondale). Online complaints can be filed here.
Raoul was joined in the letter by attorney generals of Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Georgia, Guam, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Northern Mariana Islands, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virgin Islands, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.