Anti-vaxxers pay hundreds of dollars to secure fake vaccine passports and successfully penetrate Australian businesses as lucrative black market operations thrive around the world.
More than a dozen accounts selling fake vaccination certificates to various corners of the globe — from Europe, North America, Asia to the South Pacific — have been set up on the Telegram messaging app.
A website offering fake documents is selling Australian vaccine passports for $500, allowing buyers to choose whether to list Pfizer, AstraZeneca or Moderna on the form.
Sources told Daily Mail Australia a colleague had bragged about buying a fake certificate and using it in Sydney since NSW left lockdown on Oct. 11.
“She posts things on social media about her presence in restaurants and the gym,” said one woman, who asked to remain anonymous.
Anti-vaxxers pay hundreds of dollars to buy fake Covid-19 vaccine passports to get around laws requiring Australians to show proof of vaccination to work or enter sites. Pictured: An image posted in a Telegram group of a woman allegedly holding her fake vaccination passport claimed to have been used successfully
“It’s maddening. She has no medical reason not to get vaccinated — she’s just an antivaxxer — and her actions put others at risk.
“It’s extremely selfish.”
Anti-vaxxers have also flocked to Telegram to report that their triumph is misleading their employers and companies.
A seller shared a photo of an Australian woman holding a supposedly fake digital vaccine passport, claiming she reported it had worked.
“The QR code has been scanned successfully,” he wrote.
A Melbourne man in another group said he’s been given one to keep working while his city remains on lockdown.
“The boss can’t verify if this is real or fake, so this will work for now,” he said.
Others discussed alternative ways to forge the government document.
“A lot of people have downloaded the vaccination certificate and are editing it,” suggested a man from Melbourne.
“My misses think you can download them in a PDF editor or something.”
“Just pay your local doctor,” another person shouted.
NSW residents are required to show proof of vaccination before entering businesses, with a source telling Daily Mail Australia that an antivaxxer has successfully passed through checkpoints. Pictured: Sydneysiders enter a pub on Monday as Covid restrictions were eased across the state
The fabricated documents (one pictured) include the Australian coat of arms, the brand name of the vaccine and Australian government services and the Medicare decal
Sellers ask for payments in hard-to-trace cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, before sending the fabricated forms to buyers.
Some counterfeiters claim that they work with registered pharmacists and doctors and can record the forged information in official databases so that the fraudulent inoculations go undetected.
“We produce and provide Covid 19 vaccine cards, certificates and passport to those who need results but are not willing to take the vaccines. With our services you can travel and work,” reads an advertisement.
‘Our services are registered’ [and] checked and verified in all systems online and we also provide legit QR code. Now get your cards and keep your DNA unchanged.’
Another advertisement contained detailed information needed to register customers in their country’s online health database.
‘[We need] your name, gender, country, date of birth, health care number, choose your vaccination details, your vaccination center, preferred vaccine and delivery address.’
The alarming reports of successful false vaccine passports come as locked states and territories like Victoria and the ACT are preparing to reopen once they hit the 70 percent double dose milestone.
Pictured: A digital vaccine passport posted to a Telegram group that sells fake certificates
One website (pictured) provides fabricated documents for UK, EU, Netherlands, Pakistan, Indonesia, Australia, America and Canada
Sellers ask for payments of hard-to-trace cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin, with an Australian vaccine passport for $500 on one website
Canberrans will exit lockdown on Thursday after reaching the target, while Victoria Covid restrictions are expected to be lifted by October 26.
As of Monday, fully vaccinated NSW residents could enjoy a range of new freedoms, including eating out, going to the gym or gathering indoors and out in small groups – with locations required by law to request proof of vaccination.
Further restrictions will be eased later this month once NSW reaches 80 percent vaccination, before the liberties open to the unvaccinated from December 1.
NSW Police said detectives from the State Crime Command’s Cybercrime Squad “work closely with other agencies to monitor and investigate the sale of a variety of fraudulent documents that can be purchased online.”
“Police are aware of the illegal sale of COVID-19 vaccination certificates and regularly conduct proactive operations on the dark web to disrupt such illegal activity,” a NSW Police Department spokesman told the Daily Mail Australia.
“There are enough security features in government-issued documents of all kinds to enable people in authorized positions who need to see them to verify their authenticity.
Vaccination certificates are no different and fraudulently reproduced documents will be easy to detect.
In NSW, possession, use and manufacture of illegal vaccination certificates is a criminal offense punishable by imprisonment.
Anyone with information about the sale or distribution of fraudulent identity documents should contact Crime Stoppers at 1800 333 000.