As long as travel restrictions remain in place due to the pandemic, it is very likely that criminals will seize the opportunity of producing and selling fake COVID-19 test certificates, warns a Europol Early Warning Notification published today.
Several cases have already emerged of fraudulent COVID-19 test certificates being sold to travellers:
- A forgery ring selling negative test results to passengers was dismantled at the Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris, France;
- In the UK, fraudsters were caught selling bogus COVID-19 documents for GBP 100;
- In December 2020, a fraudster was apprehended by the Spanish National Police for selling fake test results for EUR 40.
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.
Member States are encouraged to share any relevant information on criminal activities related to fake COVID-19 test documentation with Europol.