Status: 01/19/2022 09:10 a.m
Although there are severe penalties for falsifying vaccination cards in Germany, the illegal business is flourishing. Nationwide, the police are investigating thousands of suspected cases – especially from Bavaria.
Nationwide, the police authorities are investigating well over 12,000 suspected cases of forged vaccination cards. According to the police authorities, the number of preliminary investigations skyrocketed last December, reports the dpa news agency.
Bavaria is the front runner with more than 4,000 procedures and 5,500 secured vaccination cards and certificates, followed by North Rhine-Westphalia with more than 3,500 procedures, according to a nationwide dpa survey. “Unfortunately, we have to assume that there is a large number of unreported cases,” reported the state government in Munich.
There are severe penalties for counterfeiting
At the end of November, the legislature once again clarified the criminal liability. In extreme cases, users of false vaccination cards face even more than job loss and a fine or probation for “use of incorrect health certificates”.
After a corona outbreak with three deaths in a nursing home in Hildesheim, Lower Saxony, the public prosecutor’s office is even investigating an employee of the facility who was fired without notice for manslaughter. The woman is said to have worked in the home with a fake vaccination card, even though family members at home were ill with Covid-19.
Apparently this has no deterrent effect. The 3G obligation in many areas has probably really boosted the counterfeiters’ business. On the Internet, investigators came across relevant offers on social media channels and messenger services such as Telegram, which met with customers willing to pay among vaccination skeptics and vaccination opponents, although the originals including real vaccination protection are available for free.
Counterfeiters work professionally
Nevertheless, there are numerous cases of forged vaccination cards: At the beginning of December 2021, a total of 800 blank vaccination cards, vaccine stickers, various stamps and other counterfeiting utensils were seized during a search in Kassel.
In October, investigators arrested suspected fraudsters in Munich who are said to have used the IT infrastructure of a pharmacy to produce fake vaccination certificates – more than 500 within a month alone.
There have also been cases of doctors who only stuck the sticker for the vaccine dose in their patient’s vaccination card, without injecting the vaccine. They now face up to five years in prison.
Yellow vaccination card easy to manipulate
Vaccination pass counterfeiters now offer a complete package on Telegram: the completed vaccination book including the QR code costs 200 to 300 euros. However, the fraudulent vaccination unwillingness who order a counterfeit online have no guarantee that a false vaccination card will actually be delivered.
The problem: The yellow vaccination card according to the specifications of the World Health Organization is easy to manipulate. The booklet can be ordered online for a few euros. Medical practice stamps can also be easily obtained. The vaccine dose stickers with the batch number are now at least provided with a watermark.
In the pharmacies that create the QR code for the digital vaccination certificate, it is now possible to check whether the place and time of the vaccination match the batch number in the vaccination card. This is obviously not clear to many owners of vaccination cards.