CINCINNATI–As the country continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the Port of Cincinnati remain focused on protecting American lives. Since August 16, Cincinnati officers have seized five shipments containing a total of 1,683 counterfeit COVID-19 vaccination cards and 2,034 fake Pfizer inoculation stickers.
Although the vaccination cards displayed a logo for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), officers noticed mis-spellings and substandard printing—clues that they were fake. The shipments, which originated in China, were being imported by non-medical entities in private residences and apartments in Illinois, Maryland, Missouri, New York, and Texas.
“Creating or buying a fake COVID-19 vaccination card is illegal, not to mention dangerous,” said Cincinnati Port Director Richard Gillespie. “Purchasing counterfeit cards supports criminals whose only concern is their bank account, not American security or the health of our citizens. Our officers know that counterfeiters will try to replicate anything to benefit themselves, with no thought to the innocent victims that may suffer from their actions. The men and women of CBP are trained and ready to shut down these scammers and protect our country.”
“Our officers continue to demonstrate their dedication to our mission by anticipating these unique threats and working around the clock to disrupt crime that threatens our economy and our people,” said Chicago Director of Field Operations LaFonda Sutton-Burke. “CBP understands the heightened importance of safeguarding and securing our borders during this challenging time.”
Consumers can educate themselves about COVID-19 health fraud and can report suspected scams here.
CBP officers coordinate identification findings with CBP’s Fraudulent Document Analysis Unit, Homeland Security Investigations, and other federal partners in order to combat any illicit activity. Visit CBP’s YouTube channel to learn more about how CBP’s Office of Field Operations secures our nation’s borders.
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