CHICAGO— For the second time in September, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers working at the International Mail Facility at Chicago O’Hare once again seized counterfeit COVID-19 vaccination cards.
Two separate parcels, both arriving from China, were inspected by CBP to determine the admissibility of the items. The packages were labeled that they contained greeting cards, but once officers inspected the packages, they found 21 counterfeit COVID-19 vaccination cards in one package and 20 counterfeit COVID-19 vaccination cards in the other. The cards closely resembled the authentic Center for Disease Control (CDC) certificates provided by healthcare practitioners when administering the COVID vaccine. The cards appeared to be fraudulent due to their low-quality appearance and other discrepancies.
“These dishonest vendors that are producing and sending these counterfeit cards are putting the American population in danger with every card they produce,” said LaFonda Sutton-Burke, Director, Field Operations, Chicago Field Office. “Ordering and producing these cards is illegal and the only reason this is being done is to make a quick dollar, when getting the vaccination is free.”
The parcels were both seized on September 27 and were headed to residential addresses in Bartelso and Houston, Texas. Earlier this month, CBP officers in Chicago seized 19 counterfeit vaccination cards that were headed to a residence in Ohio.
“This is a dangerous game that people are playing” said Shane Campbell, Area Port Director - Chicago. “Not only is it a public health risk, but it is also illegal and comes with serious consequences for violators.”
The FBI has warned the public that buying, selling, or using a counterfeit COVID-19 vaccination cards endangers and places others at risk, and breaks our nation’s laws.
CBP Office of Field Operations’ dual mission is to facilitate travel in the United States while we secure our borders, our people, and our visitors from those that would do us harm like terrorists and terrorist weapons, criminals, and contraband.