Fake vaccination certificates and test reports are appearing more and more often. Does the situation worsen because the corona tests have to be paid for yourself?
You don’t have to be a technology genius to get such a fake. An expired negative Corona test result can be converted into current 3G proof with a few clicks. PDF files are very easy to edit, and a different date or name can be entered in no time at all. Within minutes you have a document that – in the truest sense of the word – opens the door to restaurants, concerts, museums. In short: wherever only those who have been vaccinated, recovered or tested negative for the corona virus have access.
So far, forgeries – be it test evidence or vaccination certificates – have played a rather subordinate role. Only: will it stay that way? Or will there be more and more such cases in the coming weeks? After all, people now have to pay for their corona tests – previously they were free.
Fake vaccination passports: State Criminal Police Office fears an increase
At the end of May, the first falsified vaccination certificates appeared in Bavaria . At that time, the Bavarian State Criminal Police Office (LKA) spoke of a low double-digit number. At the beginning of October, the LKA was already aware of cases in the low three-digit range – less than 250 – that are related to the falsification of vaccination passports, vaccination certificates, vaccine labels or vaccination offers , as the authority informs our editorial team when asked . The cases of fake negative test evidence are also in the low three-digit range.
The LKA assumes that such incidents will increase with the introduction of the fee-based tests. An assessment of the extent of the expected increase could not be made, says a spokesman for the LKA. Because there is no such thing as experience and comparison parameters.
PDF files always have the potential for forgery
The Bavarian Ministry of Health is also aware of the fact that there could be problems. “The Bavarian State Government is closely monitoring the developments and will also raise the issue with the federal government should this be necessary,” a spokeswoman for the authority told our editorial team. Forms in PDF or paper form always harbor the potential for forgery, she continues. “You could only avoid the problem if you only have digital test certificates via the Corona warning app allows, ”she says. But it’s not that easy. Although there is an obligation of the service provider to also offer the result notification via the Corona warning app – the tested people are not obliged to use this. In addition, a significant part of the population still does not use a smartphone.
The controls of the vaccination and test records are slack
Of course, such worries and problems are not unique to Bavaria for a long time . All of Germany is affected. Since mid-September, for example, in the Paderborn district, the number of criminal charges against people who try to obtain digital corona vaccination certificates with falsified vaccination passports in pharmacies, as the police recently announced. In many pharmacies it is now part of the day-to-day business to generate the QR code for a digital vaccination certificate on presentation of a vaccination card. Falsified or falsified vaccination documents have recently been noticed almost every day, according to the announcement. The police will secure such vaccination cards and investigate these cases on suspicion of forgery.
Often such fraudsters are not exposed at all. Because the controls are pretty lax in many places. A quick look at the test certificate or the vaccination certificate – and you can go to the restaurant . Only a few people look for their ID card to confirm that this is actually their own vaccination certificate. Often it is also not checked whether the QR code that is shown is perhaps just a screenshot. Or whether the date of the PDF file with the negative test result has been corrected.
Terrifying results in Berlin: 70 percent of the negative test certificates were forgeries
In Berlin, the Tempelhof-Schöneberg public order office took the trouble a few weeks ago to monitor compliance with the infection protection measure ordinance – especially the 3G rule – in the catering trade. The shocking result: 70 percent of the negative test certificates submitted were forgeries. “It can be assumed that the visitors to the restaurants have unauthorized access to the indoor catering with the illegal document – which is presumably distributed via social media “, It says in a press release.
Such criminal energy can have dire consequences. According to the Bavarian Ministry of Health, falsification of test certificates is punished as falsification of documents with a prison sentence of up to five years or a fine. The ministry spokeswoman makes it clear: “So it is not a trivial offense.”