MEMPHIS, Tenn. – U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officers at the Port of Memphis seized 15 shipments of fake vaccination cards from China Friday and say it’s not the first time.
Customs said since the first of the year, Memphis has made 121 seizures totaling 3,017 of the counterfeit cards.
Officers said the most recent shipments flagged were described as “PAPER CARD PAPER” and were en route to the central business district of New Orleans.
Customs said inside each of the 15 shipments were 51 low-quality, counterfeit COVID-19 vaccine cards. The cards had blanks for the recipient’s name and birthdate, the vaccine maker, lot number, and the date and place the shot was given, as well as the Center for Disease Control (CDC) logo in the upper right corner.
Officers said it was evident the cards were phony because they had typos in English and Spanish, plus unfinished words, and the shipment was imported by a non-CDC or medical entity they were familiar with.
“These vaccinations are free and available everywhere,” said Michael Neipert, Area Port Director of Memphis. “If you do not wish to receive a vaccine, that is your decision. But don’t order a counterfeit, waste my officer’s time, break the law, and misrepresent yourself. “
The FBI has warned the public that buying, selling, or using counterfeit COVID-19 vaccination cards is a crime. Violators face a fine and of up to five years in prison.