Amid Tighter Travel Restrictions, Fake COVID-19 Tests Are Being Sold
Travel restrictions around the world have created a market for selling fake negative COVID-19 test results. Fraudulent certifications have been discovered by law enforcement officials in Britain, France, Spain and the Netherlands.
Europol issued an alert in early February, warning that several people had been arrested at various European airports for trying to sell fraudulent coronavirus test results to travelers. Authorities broke up a forgery ring that was selling negative tests to travelers inside Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris. In the Netherlands, authorities discovered that fake test results were being sold through messaging apps, according to a CNBC report.
The uptick in fraudulent activity comes as new coronavirus variants are spreading and more nations are issuing restrictions that require inbound travelers to test negative. The U.S. has such restrictions in place, so it is conceivable that similar fake tests are being sold in our country, too.
Here in Pennsylvania, state agencies have warned residents about several COVID-19-related scams, which can involve:
- Contact-tracing text messages warning of coronavirus exposure
- Offers of vaccines and other treatment provisions
- Online offers of sales of medical supplies
- Requests for donations to nonexistent charities
- Phishing emails purporting to be from healthcare organizations
- Mobile apps that track the spread of COVID-19 but are infected by malware
- Promotion of investments in companies claiming to offer products that prevent or cure the coronavirus
If you find yourself under investigation or arrest for any of these activities or for any other alleged crime related to the coronavirus, you will need a skilled criminal defense attorney on your side. You could be charged with white-collar crimes like counterfeiting, healthcare fraud or forgery, which can be sentenced by years in prison and heavy fines.
The Law Offices of David Jay Glassman in Philadelphia is ready to protect the rights of anyone charged with a criminal offense related to COVID-19. Our founding attorney is a former Pennsylvania deputy attorney general with more than 40 years of trial experience. If a viable defense exists in your case, you can rely on us to present it forcefully. To schedule a case evaluation, call our office at 215-563-7100 or contact us online. We can meet with you through video conference if desired.