It did not take long for Internet counterfeiters to take advantage of the latest announcements on the vaccine obligation. The day after Emmanuel Macron’s speech, advertisements like these were already circulating on Snapchat:
For amounts ranging from 20 to 500 euros, the buyer receives a QR code attesting to a complete vaccination.
Many networks dismantled in recent days
Faced with the resurgence of networks of counterfeiters, investigators have stepped up interventions. On July 14, six people suspected of having smuggled fake coronavirus vaccination certificates were indicted. According to our colleagues from World, “at least 400 buyers have been identified”, A figure that would be underestimated.
A few days later, a pharmacist was arrested in Seine-Saint-Denis after the discovery of around fifty fake health passes. The young graduate was selling her stock on Snapchat.
What do buyers risk?
First, before talking about the legal consequences, it is worth remembering that these buyers expose themselves to a scam. Indeed, nothing says that by paying 300 euros they will get this famous sesame that is the health pass.
QR codes are very difficult to falsify, and therefore, unless you have an accomplice in a vaccination center, it is impossible to generate them.
In addition to the risk of never seeing your money again, you also risk legal action. The bill on the extension of the health pass and the vaccination obligation provides (Article 1) “five years’ imprisonment and a fine of 75,000 euros” for “fraudulent use of such a document”.
The bill is still under discussion, but as a reminder, in France the use of forgery is punished by 3 years in prison and a fine of € 45,000.