BAKERSFIELD: District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer issued a consumer alert today warning Kern County residents not to print fake COVID-19 vaccination record cards at home and not to purchase them from individuals selling counterfeits.
“Our office is aware of counterfeit COVID-19 vaccination record cards advertised on social media websites, e-commerce platforms, and blogs, as a way for individuals to misrepresent themselves as vaccinated,” said District Attorney Zimmer. “These counterfeit records are illegal and undermine the health and safety of our community. Please do not purchase a fraudulent vaccination record card, do not make your own, and do not fill in blank vaccination record cards with false information.”
Authentic vaccination record cards are given, at no cost, to those who have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. All Californians, aged 12 and older, are now eligible for a free COVID-19 vaccination, regardless of immigration or health insurance status. Vaccination record cards include information about the type of vaccine the recipient received and when they may be able to receive a second dose. By misrepresenting yourself as vaccinated when entering schools, mass transit, workplaces, gyms, or places of worship, you put yourself and others around you at risk of contracting COVID-19.
In addition to putting community health at risk, forging vaccination records is also a crime. Federal authorities have stated that the unauthorized use of an official government agency's seal (such as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) is a federal crime and may be punishable under Section 1017 of Title 18 of the United States Code, and other laws. Additionally, forging or possessing forged documents, like a fake COVID-19 vaccination record card, is a crime in California.
Protect your health and those around you and stay on the right side of the law.
Don’t buy, make, or alter vaccination record cards.
To report suspicious activity involving fake COVID-19 vaccination record cards, please take one of the following steps:
File a consumer complaint with the District Attorney’s Office. A consumer complaint form can be found online at https://www.kerncounty.com/home/showpublisheddocument/2434/637437903398500000
File a complaint with the California Attorney General’s Office at www.oag.ca.gov/report
Contact the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services at 1-800-HHS-TIPS or https://oig.hhs.gov/fraud/report-fraud.
File a complaint with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at https://www.ic3.gov.
Avoid posting photos of your vaccination record card on social media District Attorney Zimmer also recommends that if you have received your COVID-19 vaccine, you refrain from posting photos of your vaccination record card on social media websites because your personal information could be stolen to commit fraud. For more information about the dangers of sharing your vaccination status on social media, see https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2021/02/social-media-no-place-covid-19-vaccination-cards.
Lost your COVID-19 vaccination record card? District Attorney Zimmer urges Kern County residents to keep their vaccination record cards in a safe place to prevent loss or damage. If you need a replacement card, contact your vaccination provider. You can also request your COVID-19 vaccination record from the California Immunization Registry (CAIR) at https://cairforms.cairweb.org/AuthorizationToRelease/AuthorizationToRelease. Keep in mind, CAIR does not provide replacement cards.
For more information, please contact Deputy District Attorney John Ohanesian of the Civil Enforcement Unit of the Kern County District Attorney’s Office.