Mobile messaging platform Telegram has vowed to take action against groups that are selling fake Covid-19 vaccination certificates.
Israel-based cyber security firm Check Point Research has reported to have found that fake Covid-19 vaccination certificates and fake test results of 29 different countries, including India, are being sold on Telegram.
“Telegram has zero tolerance against such groups. We are taking action with extreme sense of urgency against any such case that is highlighted to us with proper proof,” Telegram said in a response to the report.
According to the report, a fake vaccination certificate for India is available at a price of about USD 75 (Rs 5,520) each.
Oded Vanunu, Head (products vulnerability research) at Check Point Software Technologies, had said there are people who don’t want to take the vaccine but still want the freedoms that come with being vaccinated such as access to places.
“These people are turning to the Darknet and Telegram. Since March 2021, prices for fake vaccination cards have dropped by half and online groups for these fraudulent coronavirus services boast followings of hundreds of thousands of people,” Vanunu said.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, in India, various state governments have mandated certain regulations for those undertaking inter-state travel by road or air to mitigate the further spread of the virus.
Travellers are required to have a negative COVID-19 test result (RT-PCR report) or a vaccination certificate to visit some states that see large influx of tourists.
The Check Point Research (CPR) report said movement regulation may have resulted in the demand for and availability of fake test results and vaccine certificates in the black market from those who do not wish to be vaccinated.