Italian police broke up a group of online schemes where fraudsters were offering fake European Union COVID-19 certificates for cryptocurrencies, Reuters reports. The investigation has revealed that thousands of people were ready to buy false COVID passports.
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The recently launched digital COVID-19 certificate campaign features a QR code, which indicates if an individual has been vaccinated. The police have reportedly seized control of 10 Telegram channels, where users could contact the sellers to buy the fake passport with cryptocurrency. Prices ranged from $130-155 for an "all inclusive" package, the police added.
"About 250,000 users had registered, and a hundred tried to interact with the sellers," said Gian Luca Berruti, Head of the Milan tax police's cyber-fraud unit.
In March this year, New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo, announced a passport based on IBM's blockchain intended to prove that its holders have tested negative for COVID (PCR or antigens tests) or have been vaccinated. The passport can be printed or stored on users' smartphones via the Excelsior Pass Wallet app, in the same way as airline boarding passes are.
The document confirms that its holder tested negative on a PCR or antigen test or received the COVID-19 vaccine, which reportedly helps to speed up the reopening of businesses and event venues.
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