As per part of the new Plan B rules, the citizens of the UK are required to show their vaccination status as proof before accessing some places. This vaccination status would also enable them to avoid self-isolation after travelling abroad. However, unvaccinated people are being offered false certification on social media sites in order to get past the laws.
The posts usually appear on Facebook and the company is trying to remove the content. Although, the posts resurface on the same Facebook pages after some time. Cyber investigation firm Intelligent Sanctuary owner Jonathan Benton claimed,
We were finding passes, certificates, cards, vaccine cards, even down to choice of what vaccine you wanted recording on the card.
Certificates and QR codes!
Covid certifications have been discovered for sale on the dark web alongside drugs, guns, and stolen goods, with dealers claiming to have documents from 22 countries, including Portugal, France, Greece, Spain, Australia, Latvia, Morocco and the UK. Scammers have claimed to provide certificates and national health authority Covid apps with QR codes. Meaning, they work with personnel inside health authorities who could add information to the database.
However sad that may be, it is still the reality. Mr Benton who previously worked for National Crime Agency (NCA) confessed that determining who is behind such sales is tough. However, it is believed that organised crime groups are engaged in this scam as more criminals turn to the internet. These fake passes would help people keep their jobs, attend events and travel smoothly. While most of these posts are aimed to be taken down as soon as possible, they have started linking them to Telegram apps!
Difficult to catch a fake!
Border Force was told earlier this year to stop examining people's Covid papers and instead rely on airlines to do so. Since Border Force no longer conducts routine checks, it is challenging to assess how common these are or how much they are being utilised. They may also be getting passed as actual certificates by airlines as they are not forgery experts to catch them. In this scenario, finding fake certificates is no different than spotting an email fraud. Further, comprehensive checks have no models and as such borderline queues would become unmanageable if extensive checks were to take place.