If you scroll through social media, it likely won’t take long to see a selfie of a friend holding up their COVID-19 vaccination card.
For many people, that card is a sign life can return to normal.
But experts say there’s a growing demand for those cards online from people who haven’t been vaccinated.
Videos on Tik Tok and posts on Twitter advertise blank vaccination cards or details on how to create your own.
“I’ve been on Tik Tok trying to advocate for evidence-based medicine,” said pharmacist Savannah Sparks, who encounters posts about fake vaccination cards daily.
Nearly 50% of Pennsylvanians now have at least one vaccination dose according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health.
But experts say herd immunity won’t be reached until that number hits at least 70%.
That fact, in part, is fueling demand for fake vaccination cards, which is a federal crime.
FBI Pittsburgh Assistant Special Agent In Charge Doug Olson said the crime is akin to forging a federal document since the CDC seal is on the cards.
“You’re producing a false document when you do that,” he said.
The FBI is also warning against scammers.
Vaccine cards contain several pieces of personal information including name and date of birth.
Olson said freely posting that information on social media puts you one step closer to identity theft.
“People piece this stuff together. So even though that’s a small piece of your identity, they can match that with other things they stole from somewhere else and form your full identity.”