CHICAGO (CBS) — Customs officials at O’Hare International Airport last week intercepted a package containing 19 counterfeit COVID-19 vaccination cards headed from China to Ohio.
The package, headed to a residential address in Wapakoneta, Ohio, was inspected at the International Mail Facility at O’Hare on Aug. 31, to determine whether the items inside were admissible in the United States, according to Customs and Border Protection officials.READ MORE: Dog Scares Off Attempted Carjacker In Old Town
When they inspected the parcel, customs officers found 19 fake COVID-19 vaccination cards, which closely resembled authentic CDC vaccination certificates provided to people who have received their shots. The cards were clearly fraudulent, due to their low-quality appearance and misspelled words.
“Counterfeiters are savvy and follow trends in consumer demand, including the high demand for vaccination cards during the pandemic,” said LaFonda Sutton-Burke, the agency’s director of field operations in Chicago. “Every officer in the Chicago Field Office is committed to protecting the lives and welfare of every community.”
The seizure came just days after Chloe Mrozak, of Oak Lawn, was jailed in Hawaii after being caught with a counterfeit vaccine card.
Mrozak, 24, arrived at the airport in Honolulu on Aug. 23, after uploading the fake vaccine card to avoid Hawaii’s mandatory 10-day quarantine, authorities said.READ MORE: Food Delivery Driver Shot And Killed While Sitting In Car In Little Italy
State investigators arrested Mrozak five days later, when she went to the airport Saturday for her flight home. Investigators were able to identify Mrozak based on a distinctive tattoo on her hip, which authorities found on her Facebook profile.
She had ignored attempts by authorities to contact her about her suspect COVID card during her six-day stay.
A screener at the airport had raised concerns about the authenticity of Mrozak’s vaccine record, but she was allowed to leave the airport. An administrator later contacted the state attorney general’s office with suspicion that Mrozak’s card was fraudulent.
The one big mistake: Moderna is spelled wrong on the card, as “Maderna.” It also said she got the shot in Delaware, but authorities said the state had no record of her vaccination.MORE NEWS: Police Searching For Driver Wanted In Deadly Hit And Run Near Jefferson Park CTA Station
Mrozak also gave false information about her return flight, stating she was returning on American Airlines when, in fact, she had purchased a round-trip ticket on Southwest. She was arrested at the Southwest gate, with a boarding pass.