Pretend Vaccination Playing cards Have been Bought To Well being Care Staff On Instagram : Coronavirus Updates : NPR

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This undated picture, provided by the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, shows two fake CDC COVID-19 vaccination cards that were part of a criminal complaint. US Courts / AP Hide caption

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US Courts / AP

This undated picture, provided by the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, shows two fake CDC COVID-19 vaccination cards that were part of a criminal complaint.

US Courts / AP

NEW YORK – A New Jersey woman who called herself AntiVaxMomma on Instagram sold hundreds of counterfeit COVID-19 vaccination cards for $ 200 each to jab-dodgers in the New York City area, including people who work in hospitals and nursing homes work, the prosecutors announced on Tuesday.

For an additional $ 250, a second scammer would then enter the name of a fake ticket buyer into a New York state vaccination database that feeds vaccination verification systems in places where it is required, such as concerts and sporting events, prosecutors said.

Counterfeit COVID vaccine cards are sold online.  Using one is a crime

Jasmine Clifford, of Lyndhurst, New Jersey, was charged Tuesday with offering a false instrument, criminal possession of a counterfeit instrument, and conspiracy. Authorities say she has sold around 250 fake vaccination cards in the past few months.

Clifford’s alleged co-conspirator, Nadayza Barkley, of Bellport, Long Island, failed to file a plea or charge of improper instrumentation and conspiracy in the Manhattan Criminal Court Tuesday morning.

Prosecutors say Barkley entered at least 10 names in the state’s vaccine database while working at a Patchogue medical clinic and received payments from Clifford through Cell and CashApp for her work.

Online court records did not list any attorneys for Clifford or Barkley to comment.

A pharmacist is charged with selling COVID-19 vaccine cards on eBay for $ 10

Thirteen suspected ticket buyers were also charged, including a man accused of paying to be included in the database. Current COVID-19 vaccines are available free of charge.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. urged Instagram-owned Facebook and other tech companies to crack down on vaccination card fraudsters, saying in a statement: “The stakes are too high to whack-a-mole for fake vaccination cards -Fight charges. “

Facebook says it removed the suspect’s Instagram account

Facebook said it bans anyone from buying or selling COVID-19 vaccine cards and removed Clifford’s account in early August for violating its rules.

“We will review any other accounts that may be doing the same thing,” the company said in a written statement. “We appreciate the prosecution’s work on this matter and will remove this content as soon as we find it.”

Prosecutors said Clifford, a self-proclaimed online entrepreneur, started selling fake vaccination cards from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention through her AntiVaxMomma Instagram account in May.

A New York Police Department investigator who became aware of the fraud a few weeks later tested it by contacting Clifford to order a fake card and add it to the state vaccine database, prosecutors said.

In July, the investigator said in court records, he received a package containing a CDC COVID-19 vaccination card that stated his name and date of birth, as well as a cell phone screenshot showing that it was his The information provided has also been included in the state database.

Counterfeit cards are a growing problem as more places ask for proof of vaccination

The proliferation of forged vaccination cards is a growing problem as more places require proof of vaccination to work, eat in restaurants, and participate in everyday activities such as going to a gym or watching a movie. Such a mandate is already in place in New York City, with enforcement scheduled to begin on September 13th.

All public school teachers and other workers in the city must have their first dose of vaccine by September 27, while the state has announced that it will require vaccines for health care workers. Other city workers have to be vaccinated or tested for the virus weekly.

Colleges and universities that require proof of COVID-19 vaccination for students to take in-person classes have raised concerns about the easy availability of fraudulent vaccination cards by online sellers.

In May, the owner of a bar in Northern California was arrested after authorities said he was selling made-to-order counterfeit COVID-19 vaccination cards for $ 20 each.

In June, a naturopathic doctor was arrested in Northern California for selling counterfeit COVID-19 treatments and vaccination cards.

After two tourists were arrested earlier this month for allegedly using fake vaccination cards to travel to Hawaii, U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., urged federal law enforcement agencies to stop selling fake COVID-19 online – Track vaccination cards and campaign to make it clear that counterfeiting them could land people in federal prisons.