Ads offering fake health passes are flocking to Facebook. Many sellers promote their fake vaccine certificates on social media, in defiance of the law and Meta regulations. The authorities seem powerless in the face of the scale of the traffic.
Since last summer, the Sanitary Pass has been compulsory to enter a restaurant, bar or movie theater in France. Refusing to be vaccinated, many French people choose to invest in a false vaccination certificate to continue to go to these public places. According to information from Gérald Darmanin, the Minister of the Interior, there are also 110,000 false Health Passes in circulation in France.
These fake health passes are sold through messaging apps like Telegram or dark web black markets. Some sellers do not hesitate to display advertisements on the web. Recently, an advertisement for fake certificates even appeared on Facebook, the world’s number 1 social network, aimed at French Internet users.
A fake Health Pass for 300 euros
Spotted by Raphael Grably, head of department at BFM, the ad promises “A Covid-19 vaccination certificate without having to be vaccinated” with a “Valid QR code”. Thanks to this fake pass, the fraudsters ensure that the buyer will be able to “Move freely throughout Europe and the rest of the world”. According to an RMC survey, a pass is sold for around 300 euros in Bitcoin.
As our colleagues from the BBC report, this is not an isolated case. The social network is invaded by advertisements of this ilk since the introduction of the Health Pass in European countries. “We find passes, certificates, cards, vaccination cards, even up to the choice of the vaccine you want to register on the card”, explains Jonathan Benton, Cyber Investigation Expert at Intelligent Sanctuary.
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Some popular sellers are apparently able to design dummy certificates for 22 countries, including Portugal, France, Greece, Spain, Australia, Latvia, Morocco and the United Kingdom. “Law enforcement is struggling to stay up to date and understand who is behind the sale of these goods. I don’t see how they can control it ”, regrets the expert. For his part, Facebook pledged to remove ads. “We will continue to identify and remove this content whenever we find it, and we will deactivate any accounts, pages or groups that repeatedly break our policies”, undertakes Meta, parent company of the social network.