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What If I Get Caught with a Fake Vaccine Card?


The spread of the delta variant throughout the nation has resulted in many businesses and other establishments to ask individuals to present proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result. However, many people are attempting to bypass such requirements by using fake vaccine cards. 

Federal and state law enforcement agencies in Illinois have warned the public that using, buying, or selling a fake COVID-19 vaccination card puts millions of Americans at risk of harm and will result in harsh criminal penalties. In addition, posting photos of legitimate vaccine cards online may lead to being a victim of identity theft. 

A 24-year-old Oak Lawn woman was arrested in Hawaii on August 28, 2021, for using a fake COVID-19 vaccination card—which misspelled drug company “Moderna” as “Maderna”—to enter the state. She was booked for falsifying vaccination documents, which is considered a misdemeanor offense. 

A licensed pharmacist in Chicago was arrested in early August for allegedly selling over a hundred vaccine cards on eBay to 11 different buyers for $10 each. He faces 12 counts of theft of government property, punishable by a ten-year prison term for each count. 

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) said that creating or purchasing a fake vaccine card is a federal crime, which carries a maximum prison sentence of five years and/or a fine not exceeding $5,000. Yet, there are various federal crimes associated with using fake cards. 

Other common types of federal crimes involving using fake COVID-19 vaccination cards include: 

  • Wrongfully using or misrepresenting a government seal, punishable by imprisonment for five years and/a fine of up to $5,000. 

  • Wire fraud, which carries a prison term of up to 20 years. 

  • Embezzlement and theft of public records, punishable by imprisonment for up to ten years. 

Facing criminal charges in Chicago? Contact the Law Office of Steven Fine today at (312) 436-0638 for a free case review. More than two decades of trial-tested experience!