Fake Vaccine Cards Create Problems for Travel Advisors

Travel advisories services have issued a warning to travelers after the World Health Organization announced that fake vaccine cards represent a significant health risk for those who plan on traveling abroad. The WHO has been mounting pressure on states and countries around the world to halt production of these phony travel documents, but progress is slow in eliminating counterfeiters. Experts say there are still no easy or fool-proof solutions when it comes to finding out if your vaccines will actually work once you get them at home before jetting off overseas.

The recent spate of fake vaccine cards created by the World Health Organization has some travel advisors concerned. Vaccine card fraud is on the rise globally, so what can be done? Experts say this new trend presents opportunities for companies to create tailored solutions that could save travelers time and money.

You shouldn’t travel with a phony vaccination card if you don’t go with a fake passport.

According to a story in the Washington Post, some travel advisors are seeing customers who are attempting to acquire and utilize fraudulent vaccination papers in order to go to locations that need inoculation rather than simply a shot.


Falsifying immunization papers is a felony in the United States, and using false cards may result in arrests, prison time, and large penalties, as two tourists found when they visited Hawaii. Norbert Chung, 57, and Trevor Chung, 19, were detained and may face penalties of up to $5,000 and a year in prison.

Some locations, like as Hawaii, are not joking around when it comes to these infractions.

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During a press conference, Hawaii Gov. David Ige remarked, “We’ve been fairly active in enforcing and punishing those offenders that we’ve been aware of.” “Violations of quarantine have been prosecuted. We did have a situation where tourists were falsifying vaccination documents, and we brought charges against them.”

Robert Merlin, a travel adviser, met a customer who informed him that she intended to use a false vaccination card. Merlin, who is also an attorney, informed her that it was illegal and that he would not arrange the trip for her if he knew she would use a fake credit card.

Merlin said, “I’m not prepared to risk my work or career for someone else’s vacation.”

One approach to prevent problems from customers who are using fraudulent vaccination cards is to avoid scheduling trips. Following hearing from customers who were using and buying fake cards, an Ovation Trip Group adviser informed the Washington Post that she has taken the step of notifying clients in writing that she would not be able to assist them with travel planning after such confessions.

Similar instances were reported by many additional travel advisers, who all refused to arrange trips for customers who claimed to be using forged papers.

Those who do so will face serious legal consequences.

Misrepresenting the official seal of a government agency, such as the CDC, is a violation of federal law, according to the US Department of Justice, and offenders may face up to five years in jail or a $5,000 fine.

Using a fake also violates state laws in several places. Falsifying vaccination records is now a class E felony in New York.

Those who go abroad with forged identification cards are likewise breaking the law. Two visitors to Toronto were fined $16,000 after they were discovered using fraudulent vaccination cards.

Although the technique is not widely used, it is something that advisers should be aware of. Clients using fraudulent vaccination cards were not known to the travel advisers who were contacted.

Getting immunized is one way tourists may prevent problems.

Juliana Mulholland, who organizes vacations for affluent customers, said one customer asked her if she could get a phony vaccination card earlier this year. “It was out of the question from the start,” she added.

Although the client dropped the matter, Mulholland warned her that her lack of immunization would continue to obstruct her trip. The vaccination was eventually given to the customer.