Europol yesterday released a warning about fake Covid-19 test certificates that criminals are selling around Europe.
It is often difficult, very costly, and sometimes extremely time-consuming if not impossible to get a negative Covid-19 PCR-RT test done before travel, and some buy a fake one.
Here’s the press release from Europol:
As long as travel restrictions remain in place due to the pandemic, it is very likely that criminals will seize the opportunity of producing and selling fake COVID-19 test certificates, warns a Europol Early Warning Notification published today.
Several cases have already emerged of fraudulent COVID-19 test certificates being sold to travellers:
- A forgery ring selling negative test results to passengers was dismantled at the Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris, France;
- In the UK, fraudsters were caught selling bogus COVID-19 documents for GBP 100;
- In December 2020, a fraudster was apprehended by the Spanish National Police for selling fake test results for EUR 40.
Given the widespread technological means available, in the form of high-quality printers and different software, fraudsters are able to produce high-quality c
counterfeit, forged or fake documents.
Member States are encouraged to share any relevant information on criminal activities related to fake COVID-19 test documentation with Europol.
There is no single format for these Covid-19 PCR-RT and other tests performed by numerous labs (I have done five so far).
Most of the time, you get an electronic record such as a PDF or image of the results that would be very easy to alter when there is no centralized database to check their validity.
Can anyone guess what will be the next Europol or Interpol alert when it comes to Covid-19? Proof of vaccinations that are likely required for travel like the Yellow Fever Certificates that many carry.