Four U.S. Cities Have Received Counterfeit COVID Vaccination Cards From China

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents in four U.S. cities have intercepted packages containing fake COVID-19 vaccination cards that were shipped from China.

Officers in Pittsburgh were the most recent to report seizure of a shipment of the fake cards, according to the CBP. The agency said Wednesday that the Pittsburgh agents intercepted two shipments from China that contained 70 fraudulent cards.

The first package, containing 20 fake cards, was intercepted by CBP agents on August 24. Officers "determined that the cards presented a low-quality appearance and that they were being imported by a consignee who is not from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or a certified medical entity," the CBP said in a release.

On Tuesday, CBP officers placed another vaccination cards package, containing 50, on hold as it was heading to the same location as the first one. Both packages were shipped from China to the same "consignee" in Beaver County, the CBP said.

Just last week, a shipment from China containing 19 fake vaccine cards was seized by CBP agents working at the International Mail Facility at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport. The CBP said on September 7 that the cards were determined to be fake "due to their low-quality appearance and misspelled words." The parcel was heading to a "residential address in Wapakoneta, Ohio."

In August, CBP officers in Memphis, Tennessee, and Anchorage, Alaska, made similar seizures. In Anchorage, CBP officers working at a consignment facility intercepted a shipment from China containing over 3,000 fraudulent vaccination cards. A few days earlier, on August 13, CBP officers in Memphis said that in one night they seized 15 shipments from China containing fake cards.

"This fiscal year to date, Memphis has made 121 seizures totaling 3,017 of these vaccination cards," the CBP said in an August 13 press release.

A CBP spokesperson told Newsweek, "Foreign entities continue their attempts to sell fraudulent versions of goods needed for the COVID-19 response with no regard for the safety of their consumers or the general public. In the past couple months, U.S. Customs and Border Protection has seized thousands and thousands of fraudulent COVID-19 vaccination cards in international mail and express consignment shipments at ports of entry throughout the United States."

The spokesperson said the cards' importation "violates U.S. customs laws and poses a threat to public health. Unvaccinated individuals who use fraudulent vaccine cards put themselves, their loved ones and their fellow Americans at risk of contracting COVID-19."

Newsweek previously reported about the increase in fake vaccination card vendors across the dark web after President Joe Biden ordered employers with over 100 employees to mandate vaccination or weekly coronavirus testing for their workers.

Customs and Border Protection
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers in four U.S. cities have seized shipments of fake COVID-19 vaccination cards that came from China. Above, fraudulent cards seized in Anchorage, Alaska, last month by CBP agents. U.S. Customs and Border Protection