Two Women Charged in Fake COVID Vaccination Card Scam
WEDNESDAY, Sept. 1, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- A woman who calls herself AntiVaxMomma on social media faces a number of charges for selling fake COVID-19 vaccination cards, New York prosecutors said Tuesday.
They allege that Jasmine Clifford, of Lyndhurst, N.J., sold about 250 fake vaccination cards via her Instagram account in recent months, the Associated Press reported.
According to the prosecutors, Clifford sold the fake cards at $200 each to individuals in New York City, as well as employees of nursing homes and hospitals.
They also said that for an extra $250, Clifford's alleged co-conspirator, Nadayza Barkley, of Bellport, L.I., entered a fake card buyer's name into a New York State vaccination database used to confirm vaccine status at venues such as sporting events and concerts, the AP reported.
Prosecutors claim Barkley, who was working in a Patchogue health clinic at the time, entered at least 10 names into New York State's vaccine database.
Clifford was charged for offering a falsified instrument, criminal possession, conspiracy and assisting in the creation of one. Barkley was charged as well with providing a false instrument or conspiracy.
Thirteen alleged buyers of the fake cards were also charged, the AP reported.
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. called on Facebook, which owns Instagram, and other tech companies to crack down on vaccine card scams, saying in a statement that "the stakes are too high to tackle fake vaccination cards with whack-a-mole prosecutions."
Facebook stated that anyone can't buy or sell COVID-19 vaccine cards, and it suspended Clifford’s account for violating its guidelines in August.
In a written statement, the company indicated that they will examine any accounts which might do the same. We are grateful to the DA for their assistance in this matter. If we discover it, we will take down this material.
Fake vaccine cards are a rising concern. More places now require proof of vaccination in order to work and eat at restaurants.
In May, the owner of a Northern California bar was arrested after he allegedly sold made-to-order fake COVID-19 vaccination cards for $20 each, the AP reported, and a naturopathic physician in Northern California was arrested in June on charges she sold fake COVID treatments and vaccination cards.
Two tourists were arrested this month for allegedly using fake vaccine cards to travel into Hawaii, and U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer has called on federal law enforcement agencies to target online sales of fake COVID vaccination cards, the AP reported.
Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for more on COVID vaccines.
SOURCE: Associated Press