Anti-vaxxers are paying hundreds of dollars to secure fake vaccine passports and successfully enter Australian businesses as lucrative black market operations flourish across the globe.
More than a dozen accounts selling fake vaccination certificates to different corners of the world – from Europe, North America, Asia, to the South Pacific – have been set up on messaging app Telegram.
One website offering counterfeit documents is selling Australian vaccine passports for $500, giving buyers the chance to choose whether Pfizer, AstraZeneca, or Moderna is listed on the form.
Sources told Daily Mail Australia a colleague had bragged about purchasing a fake certificate and had been using it around Sydney since NSW exited lockdown on October 11.
‘She’s posting stuff on social media of her being at restaurants and at the gym,’ one woman, who wished to remain anonymous, said.
Anti-vaxxers are paying hundreds of dollars to purchase fake Covid-19 vaccine passports to sidestep laws requiring Australians show proof of vaccination to work or enter venues. Pictured: An image posted in a Telegram group of a woman purportedly holding her fake vaccination passport claimed to have been used successfully
‘It is infuriating. She does not have a medical reason to be unvaccinated – she is just an antivaxxer- and her actions are putting others at risk.
‘It is extremely selfish.’
Anti-vaxxers have also flocked to Telegram to report their triumph hoodwinking their employers and businesses.
One vendor shared a photo of an Australian woman holding a purportedly fake digital vaccine passport and claimed she had reported it had worked.
‘The QR code has been scanned successfully,’ he wrote.
A Melbourne man in another group said he had obtained one to continue working while his city remains in lockdown.
‘Boss cant not verify if this is real or fake so this will work for the time being,’ he said.
Others discussed alternative ways to forge the government document.
‘A lot of people have downloaded the immunisation certificate and are editing them,’ a Melbourne man suggested.
‘My misses reckons you can download them into a PDF editor or something.’
‘Just pay off your local GP,’ another person chimed.
NSW residents are required to show proof of vaccination before entering businesses, with a source telling Daily Mail Australia 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, vaccine brand name, and Australian government services and Medicare emblem
Sellers are requesting payments in hard-to-trace cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, before mailing the fabricated forms to buyers.
Some forgers claim they are working alongside registered pharmacists and doctors and can register the falsified information into official databases so the fraudulent inoculations go undetected.
‘We produce and offer Covid 19 vaccine cards, certificates and passport to those who need results but not willing to take the vaccines. With our services, you can travel and work,’ one ad reads.
‘Our services are registered [and] checked and Verified in all systems online and we also provide a legit QR code. Get your cards now and keep your DNA unchanged.’
Another advert detailed the information needed to register customer into their country’s online health database.
‘[We need] your name, gender, country, date of birth, healthcare number, choose your vaccination details, your vaccination centre, preferred vaccine, and delivery address.’
The alarming reports of successful fake vaccine passports comes as locked-down states and territories like Victoria and the ACT prepare to reopen once they hit the 70 per cent double dose milestone.
Pictured: A digital vaccine passport posted in a Telegram group selling fake certificates
One website (pictured) offers fabricated documents for the UK, EU, Netherlands, Pakistan, Indonesia, Australia, America, and Canada
Vendors request payments of hard-to-trace cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin, with an Australian vaccine passport fetching for $500 on one website
Canberrans will exit lockdown on Thursday after hitting the target, while Victoria Covid restrictions are expected to be lifted by October 26.
As of Monday, fully-vaccinated NSW residents been able to enjoy a raft of new freedoms, including dining out, going to the gym, or gathering indoors and outdoors in size-limited groups – with venues required by law to ask of proof of vaccination.
Further restrictions will be eased later this month once NSW hits 80 per cent vaccination, before freedoms open up 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 all manner of fraudulent documents that are available to purchase online’.
‘Police are aware of the illegal sale of COVID-19 vaccination certificates and conduct regular proactive operations on the dark web to disrupt such illicit activities,’ a NSW Police spokesperson told Daily Mail Australia.
‘There are sufficient security features within Government issued documents of all kinds to allow people in authorised positions who need to sight the same to verify their authenticity.
‘Vaccination certificates are no different and fraudulently reproduced documents will be easy to detect.
In NSW, the possession, use and manufacture of non-genuine vaccination certificates is a criminal offence punishable by imprisonment.
Anyone with information about the sale or distribution of fraudulent identity documents should contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.