Thousands of fake vaccine cards seized in Memphis

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Thousands of fake COVID-19 vaccination cards have been seized in Memphis.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officers (CBPOs) working at the port of Memphis seized 15 shipments of fake COVID-19 vaccinations cards in one night.

This fiscal year to date, Memphis has made 121 seizures totaling 3,017 of these vaccination cards.

According to a release from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, officers flagged a suspicious shipment coming from Shenzhen, China en route to the central business district of New Orleans. It was described in the manifest as “PAPER CARD, PAPER” and CBPOs said they already knew what it was because it was the 15th such shipment of the night.

Inside were 51 low-quality, counterfeit COVID-19 vaccination cards.

According to a release dated August 13, the cards have blanks for the recipient’s name and birthdate, the vaccine maker, lot number, and the date and place the shot was given, as well as the Center for Disease Control logo in the upper right corner. However, there are typos, unfinished words, and misspellings.

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Another reason the cards were obviously counterfeit was that they were imported by a non-CDC or medical entity.

Customs said this was not the first time they had seen this shipper.

Sometimes the manifests describe the shipments as “Paper Greeting Cards/ Use For-Greeting Card,” sometimes they are “PAPER PAPER CARD,” but they are always from China.

The cards come in packs of different amounts and there are never any attempts to conceal them, Customs said.

They are shipped to locations all over the United States.

The FBI has warned that buying, selling, or using a counterfeit COVID-19 vaccination card is a crime.

Violators face a fine and up to five years in prison.

“These vaccinations are free and available everywhere,” said Michael Neipert, Area Port Director of Memphis. “If you do not wish to receive a vaccine, that is your decision. But don’t order a counterfeit, waste my officer’s time, break the law, and misrepresent yourself. CBP Officers at the Area Port of Memphis remain committed to stopping counterfeit smuggling and helping to protect our communities. But just know that when you order a fake vaxx card, you are using my officers time as they also seize fentanyl and methamphetamines.”