In an area in Mexico, it has been revealed that fake COVID-19 immunization certificates are being offered for sale to people traveling to countries that require proof of inoculation. This discovery has been made in an area that was previously creating fake birth certificates, driver’s licenses, and passports.
Addressing the media, one of the vendors revealed that customers who have not been fully immunized, or who received vaccines not recognized in the country opt for the bogus COVID-19 vaccination certificates. “If they were vaccinated with the Chinese shots, here we change it for Pfizer or Sputnik V,” said the man.
Speaking further, the man mentioned that the customer can receive the certificate within two hours. “The price of the fake certificate ranges from 1,100 to 2,000 Mexican pesos ($55-100),” he added.
Recently, the Health Ministry of Mexico announced that people who have been vaccinated can download an immunization certificate for free through an official website. The official certificates have a QR code that redirects whoever scans it to a government page that confirms the holder Is fully immunized. The counterfeiters offer to tamper with that code, but whether it actually works is unclear.
To cheat the system, Carlos Ramirez, a cybersecurity specialist cited it would require a certain level of technological know-how so that the person checking the certificate is redirected to a fake government website. “It is possible to load each QR with the data requested by customers – a challenging but not impossible task for cybercriminals,” he said.
Reportedly, the nation has vaccinated 21 million people out of 126 million. It has used Pfizer/BioNTech, AstraZeneca, Sinovac, Cansino, Sputnik V and Johnson & Johnson shots.