vaccine passport fake

People are cheating Ontario's vaccine passport system using social media

Ontario's vaccine passport system was supposed to be a cheat-proof method of proving one's inoculation status, but from the beginning, innovative scammers have been kicking loopholes wide open, using readily-available technology to beat the system's pre-QR code certificates.

CityNews is reporting that Snapchat is the latest tool being used by proof-of-vaccination cheats to get around vaccine mandates. In a video shared with CityNews, an 18-year-old viewer details how they use Snapchat to alter the province's vaccine certificates.

It's really as simple as whiting out key information like the fields for name and date of birth and replacing it with custom text using a similar font.

These holes in the system have been apparent from day one, with scammers using software like Photoshop to doctor certificates, though free and widely-used apps like Snapchat put these dangerous capabilities into the hands of everyone with a smartphone.

It took a CityNews reporter with no previous familiarity with Snapchat only two minutes and 13 seconds to produce his own convincing counterfeit vaccine passport, so imagine how easy it would be for someone in the Millennial or GenZ demographics to whip up a fake.

New digital proof-of-vaccination was rolled out by the province in mid-October, introducing PDF-based certificates with built-in scannable QR codes, personalized to each individual, and much harder to counterfeit.

And despite such easy public access to means of forgery, the province is showing zero indication that it plans to phase out the highly-vulnerable first-generation vaccine certificates in favour of the more-secure digital certificates.

Lead photo by

Jack Landau

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