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Traveling During COVID-19: Why Using a Fake Test Might Get You into Trouble

The sale of fake negative COVID-19 test results is on the rise, owing to mandatory travel restrictions imposed by different regions to curb the spread of the virus.

In recent times, the number of countries demanding travelers to present a negative COVID-19 test certificate as proof of health before being allowed entry has led to high demand for the test.

Owing to the high cost of the tests, ranging from €150 – €300 in the European Union, many who for some reason can not afford the test now turn to alternative means of obtaining results.

Image: Unsplash
Image: Unsplash

The majority of these alternative methods are fraudulent, involving the illicit sales and acquisition of fake negative test results. By implication, even someone who has the coronavirus can obtain such certificates and gain entry into the country, thereby spreading the virus to unsuspecting citizens.

Sadly, this potentially fatal venture is on the rise, with many justifying their patronage with existing financial struggles and the need to make ends meet.

Notwithstanding the reason for engaging in such acts, it does not make the venture any less a criminal offense. The European Union’s law enforcement agency recently reported an increase in the number of people sporting fraudulent negative COVID-19 test results.

Image: Unsplash
Image: Unsplash

Vendors of forged results have also been apprehended in various parts of the world. In Luton Airport, U.K, for instance, Europol officials detained a man for trying to sell a fake coronavirus negative test result.

In the same state, fraudsters vending the COVID-19 test documents at €100 also came to the knowledge of law enforcement.

People are getting corona because of me.

Paris and Spain have also encountered their fair share of coronavirus test result fraudsters. In Paris, law enforcement agents intercepted a forgery ring at Charles de Gaulle Airport, selling forged negative test documents to passengers, for as low as €150.

Image: Unsplash
Image: Unsplash

Europol reported an incident in Spain, where they apprehended perpetrators for selling test results online for as low as €40. 24-year-old Jessica, who admitted to using and selling such fake results explained the repercussion of the fraud, saying:

“I feel bad now. I’m someone that works within the healthcare sector. So obviously I don’t want that on my conscience. People are getting corona because of me.”

Another perpetrator of the fraud, identified as Louise, insisted she couldn’t care less, as she needed the money to fend for herself and her child as a single mother. 

Going further, she noted that unless the system introduced a COVID computer that could detect the origin of each test result, she had no intention of quitting her illicit hustle.

Image: Unsplash
Image: Unsplash

The prevalence of fake negative COVID-19 test results is just one of many fraudulent activities that have come up since the onset of the pandemic. Like this case, other frauds have also preyed on government policies to cash out illegal funds.

Some of these activities include the sale of fake test-kits and PPE gears and the siphoning of funds intended to cover furlough payment/job retention schemes.

Judith
Judith
Judith is an experienced writer, a thespian, and a creator with background knowledge in science and environmental technology. Her love for science led her to obtain a BSc. Degree in Microbiology. She also boasts of a certificate in Desktop Publishing. Driven by her passion for sustaining the environment, she explored environmental health-related courses like Health Safety & Environment and Environmental Impact Assessment. Her knowledge in these fields has helped her organize events and seminars over the years to create awareness about the detrimental impact of global warming and climate change in a bid to save the planet. When she's not saving the world, you can find Judith exploring new places, meeting people, embarking on adrenaline-pumping adventures, and creating things. Judith's numerous interests informed her love for writing. To her, writing is more than information-dissemination. It is an art that enables her to live out the best of both worlds by putting them into words. She loves writing about entertainment gist, celebrity gossip, useful life hacks, DIY projects, scripts, educational pieces on environmental protection, and advancement in medicine.
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