College Officials Worry About Fake Vaccine Cards

College officials across the US are sounding the alarm about the growing market for fake vaccination cards. The concerns come as hundreds of colleges embrace vaccine mandates and as the Delta variant fuels a new surge in cases, hospitalizations, and deaths.

“An Instagram account with the username ‘vaccinationcards’ sells laminated COVID-19 vaccination cards for $25 each. A user on the encrypted messaging app, Telegram, offers ‘COVID-19 Vaccine Cards Certificates,’ for as much as $200 apiece,” the Associated Press reports.

The publication spoke with representatives from dozens of institutions, including California State University and the University of Southern California.

Demand for the fake cards is likely to grow as more colleges and universities embrace mandatory vaccines. So far, at least 675 colleges and universities require proof of COVID-19 vaccination to attend in-person classes.

Government officials have a warning for anyone thinking of making a buck off vaccine hesitancy. The unauthorized use of a federal government seal is a federal crime punishable by fines and up to five years in prison.