Twitter, Shopify and eBay are being taken to task by top U.S. law enforcement officials who say the platforms are being used to sell blank or fake COVID-19 vaccination cards to consumers across the country.
The attorneys general from 41 states, three territories and Washington, D.C., wrote to the CEOs of the three companies on April 1, saying, “The use of your platforms to disseminate the deceptive marketing and sales of fake vaccine cards is a threat to residents of our states."
The letter comes after a blunt warning this week from the FBI, which stated, “If you make or buy a fake COVID-19 vaccination record card…you are breaking the law.”
The subsequent letter from the bipartisan group of attorneys general asks the CEOs to respond by April 9 with a plan of how they will comply with the officials’ request for immediate action to:
- Monitor their platforms for ads or links selling blank or fraudulently completed vaccination cards.
- Promptly take down ads or links that are selling cards.
- Preserve records and information about the ads and the people who are selling them.
Warning letters sent to CEOs
The letters were sent to Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter; Tobias Lütke, CEO of Shopify; and Jamie Iannone, CEO of eBay.
Only nine state attorneys general did not sign the letter, sent under the auspices of the nonpartisan National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG). Those officials are from Alabama, Arizona, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana and Texas.
North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein, a Democrat, and Tennessee Attorney General Herbert H. Slatery III, a Republican, led the signatories.
People receive legitimate COVID-19 vaccination cards from providers when they get their shots. Those who buy a fake card can have information added to it or add details in themselves, so it appears they have been vaccinated when they have not, NAAG said in a release announcing the news.