Criminals are selling forged Covid-negative test certificates as an increasing number of countries require travelers to provide proof of such results, European law enforcement agency Europol warned Monday.
Several cases of fake documents being sold have already been identified, the agency says in an “Early Warning Notice” issued to European police forces.
This includes the “arrest of a forgery ring at the Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris selling forged negative test results to passengers,” who were charging between $180 to $360 for fake certificates, Europol said
In the United Kingdom, Europol intelligence found, “fraudsters were caught selling bogus COVID-19 test documents for $135, faking the name of a genuine laboratory on the false certificates.”
Criminals are also using online platforms to sell fake certificates, Europol warns, including in Spain where a “fraudster was apprehended by the Spanish National Police for selling false negative PCR certificates,” for $50 each.
In the Netherlands, “scammers were discovered selling fake negative test statements for $60-72 through messaging apps.”
A genuine “fit-to-fly” PCR certificate in the UK costs upwards of $273, CNN research found.
In the Warning Notice Europol said:
“As long as travel restrictions remain in place due to the COVID-19 situation, it is highly likely that production and sales of fake test certificates will prevail.”
“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,” the agency said.
The agency issued the notice to “increase further awareness of the illicit production and sales of fraudulent COVID-19 negative test certificates,” and asked law enforcement agencies, “to share any relevant information on criminal activities related to fake COVID-19 test documentation.”