Covid: the hunt for false health passes is organized

Since Monday, the health pass is even more part of the daily life of the French and becomes essential to pass through the doors of restaurants, hospitals or to board a train. But from the entry into force of this QR-code, this obligation gave birth to a new kind of phenomenon: the trafficking of false health passes. To date, 36 requisitions for suspicion of fraud were sent by the police to the Health Insurance, including 1 in May, 8 in June and 10 in July. And with 10 new requisitions for the first week of August alone, the circulation of false health passes is intensifying. The requisitions sent by the police may as well concern only one person as an entire network details the Health Insurance. The public establishment specifies that the phenomenon is still in the minority but that it can have “serious consequences for people and public health.”

“Real fakes” certificates The National Health Insurance Fund (CNAM) explains that there are three types of fraud. “False certificates” which are fake QR Codes that do not refer to any vaccination information and therefore unusable. Usurpations, with the use of a real certificate by one or more people (loan, duplication, reproduction, theft, etc.). And finally “real” certificates, while the person is not vaccinated. “These certificates are made from the Vaccine Covid information system: the tool was filled in as if the person had been vaccinated even though they had not received any injection”, explains the Health Insurance which is worried about everything. particularly the latter.

Last week, a contract worker from the Vaccidrive in Villepinte (Seine-Saint-Denis) was sentenced to one year’s imprisonment by the Bobigny court for trafficking false vaccination certificates. The administrative officer admitted during her police custody to have generated approximately 200 QR Code that she was selling 200 euros on the Snapchat social network. For several weeks, around ten arrests have also taken place in Paris, Bordeaux, Agen, Grenoble or Lyon for trafficking in vaccination certificates and PCR codes.

Detention and use of false In addition to the cases where a nursing staff makes false certificates on behalf of a loved one, the trafficking of false health passes has also become a lucrative business on internet or messaging applications like Whatsapp or Telegram. On the Snapchat social network, just type “health pass” in the search bar to access dozens of contacts who offer fake health passes at prices ranging from 50 to 1. 000 euros.

Against a payment generally requested by prepaid card online, the fraudster can receive in 24 hours a “true-false” health pass, presented as validated by the Health Insurance. Without certainty for as much for the purchaser that the precious sesame will pass the controls. To fight against this phenomenon, a circular was published on August 9 by the Ministry of Justice, according to the JDD, in order to prosecute fraudulent caregivers for “detention and use of forgery ”(two to five years in prison), or even“ organized gang fraud ”(up to ten years in prison). People who present “a health pass belonging to others” will be liable to a 4th class fine of 750 euros, fixed at 135 euros if it is paid quickly. In the event of a repeat offense within a fortnight, this amount will increase to 1. 500 euros, the government specified.