The Malta Independent 24 October 2021, Sunday

Fake vaccine certificates being sold on the black market for €150

Albert Galea Thursday, 23 September 2021, 14:41 Last update: about 30 days ago

Maltese vaccine certificates are being sold for €150 on the black market, according to a new report issued by a cyber-security firm.

Check Point Research reported that the black market for fake vaccine certificates has expanded globally, now selling certificates in 29 countries, including Malta.

The firm said that on August 10, it saw roughly 1,000 vendors on Telegram and that there has now been a tenfold increase to over 10,000 vendors on the same application.  

The EU Digital COVID certificate, CDC and NHS COVID-19 vaccine cards, and fake PCR COVID-19 tests have also been observed to be on sale.

“Currently, our researchers have spotted new techniques that sellers are using to sell more. For example, in Austria, we have found a Telegram bot that creates fake certificates for free! All one needs to do is fill in the relevant details and a pdf file will be shared with them containing all their filled data, such as in the case attached- a negative PCR test,” the firm said.

The research group saw that in Malta’s case, vaccine certificates were being sold at €150 each – a price identical to most other European countries.

The group in fact found that besides in Malta, fake certificates for the following countries were already being sold in: Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Greece, Finland, Romania, Russia, Bulgaria, Switzerland, Austria, Poland, Czech Republic, Latvia, Ireland, UK, Ukraine, Australia, Indonesia, India, Singapore, Thailand, the UAE and the United States.

The vaccine certificate is a key part of how Malta is handling its return to normal life.  Besides being key to travelling in and out of the country, people also require vaccine certificates to do things such as attend organised events and to not wear masks outdoors.

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