Europol warns of fake negative Covid-19 certificates
Monday, 01 February 2021
Fake negative Covid-19 certificates are being sold by organised crime groups, European police agency Europol warned on Monday.
Many EU countries and others are now demanding proof that passengers are not infected with coronavirus. With that, “it is very likely that criminals will seize the opportunity of producing and selling fake COVID-19 test certificates,” Europol said in a press release.
“Given the widespread technological means available, in the form of high-quality printers and different software, fraudsters are able to produce high-quality counterfeit, forged or fake documents,” they added.
Ten days ago, a man suspected of selling fake non-infection certificates at Covid-19 was arrested at Luton airport in Britain.
In early November, French police had arrested seven people in connection with the dismantling of a trade in fake negative test certificates for Covid-19, using the name of an existing laboratory, sold at prices ranging from €150 to €300 to travellers at Roissy-Charles-de-Gaulle airport near Paris.
In Spain, police arrested a man selling fake documents of this kind for €40 online, and in the Netherlands traffickers were doing the same using mobile phone messaging applications.
“The detection of fake COVID-19 negative test certificates confirms that criminals – be it organised crime groups or individual opportunistic scammers – seize profitable opportunities once they arise,” the organisation said in its early warning notification.