Global trade body warns against surge in fake Covid cards

Global trade body warns against surge in fake Covid cards

The International Hologram Manufacturers Association (IHMA) is calling for global supply chains and authorities to urgently review their anti-counterfeiting plans and investment in security resources, in light of a surge in the number of fake Covid cards in circulation.

Research found earlier this year that the hidden pandemic market has grown exponentially, with more than 1,200 vendors worldwide flooding the market with fake Covid cards. Cybersecurity company Check Point detected around 20 dark web vendors last November, which increased to 600 in January and then doubled to 1,200 by March.

Dr Paul Dunn, chair of the IHMA, said: “The use of counterfeit vaccine cards puts people and their friends and families at risk and must be stopped. Supply chains have to be bolstered with countries enhancing their anti-counterfeiting plans, which include the introduction of harder hitting anti-counterfeiting legislation and strategies.

“The use of track and trace programmes featuring security devices are especially helpful in proving the authenticity of Covid documentation and passports. This can be effective, reassuring those in law enforcement and government as well as consumers that documents are genuine, safe and secure.”

Well-designed and properly-deployed authentication solutions, as advocated by the ISO12931 standard, allows examiners to verify the authenticity of a legitimate product. Even those that have a ‘fake’ authentication feature can be distinguished from the genuine article if that items carries a carefully thought-out authentication solution.