+
covid test, fake covid results
Photo by Steve Nomax on Unsplash

Fake COVID-19 test result certificates are springing up, thanks to social media oversharing.

Look, we get it. That suspiciously stuffy nose is giving you anxiety. Have you really lost your sense of smell? Maybe it's just congestion? You start kicking yourself. Was the grocery store trip to get Haagen Dazs really worth it?

To ease the worry, you do the next responsible thing: you get tested. Hooray! It’s negative! Your instinct to announce the good news to the world is both urgent and insistent.

However, that negative test result you post to social media might have some less-than-positive outcomes.

A warning has been issued that negative test results posted online are being used to supply fake COVID-19 passes. And doctoring them is quite easy.


One man reported to a local British newspaper (the Lancashire Telegraph) that he was given a negative test by a friend, and then it was only a matter of changing the name and birthdate before that COVID-19 test passed as his own. Even the date can be edited to better reflect the required time limit.

“People are doing this as you can’t get a Covid test if you have to travel to Pakistan in case of an emergency. It is difficult to get one unless you are a key worker,” he told the Telegraph.

For some, this is an attempt to avoid the exorbitant prices being charged for legitimate tests through private clinics.

Shabaz Ilyas, who paid to have an authentic PCR test, told the Telegraph:

“This is in addition to the extortionate prices the airlines are already charging…As usual, a mini industry has been created to exploit people. This is just another example of discriminating against the poor, who are already facing financial problems.

These counterfeit tests have become the new fake IDs — sold for somewhere around £50 (about $68) in the U.K. — and can be used to enter venues and, as mentioned, travel. Which, of course, defeats the purpose of getting tested in the first place and risks the safety of those in close proximity to the person using the black market results.

fake id, covid travel requirementsbart simpson episode 20 GIFGiphy

Shahzad Ali, CEO of security training platform Get Licensed, marked the use of fake COVID-19 passes as “inevitable” according to Wales Online, saying that “there is obviously going to be a market…because there will be people who want to go about their life like normal and not have to take Covid tests for things they didn’t have to before.”

And it's not like similar situations haven't been happening already. Stories of fake vaccination cards made from social media posts have been making headlines since early 2021. Though it's a disappointing aspect of humanity, this is certainly nothing new.

"Whilst grossly unethical and potentially very dangerous, it is also illegal to use/supply/distribute fake Covid passes and could see you rack up a fine of £10,000 should you be caught,” he added.

In order to avoid this “new complication,” Ali’s advice is, of course, to avoid posting on social media. Not as cathartic, perhaps. But infinitely safer.

Forbes also shared that another travel solution in the near future might be using an app called CommonPass, which gives users a secure digital health pass, including a private COVID-19 test status.

Forbes writes:

“After downloading the app, a traveler can get a Covid-19 test at a participating lab and pull the results right into the app. The traveler can also complete any additional screening questionnaires required by the destination country. Finally, CommonPass confirms that the traveler is compliant with all entry requirements and generates a QR code which can be scanned by airline staff and border officials.

As always, social media can be a force for good and for ill. As this pandemic continues, so too does the motto, “stay safe.” That includes online.

Health

A child’s mental health concerns shouldn’t be publicized no matter who their parents are

Even politicians' children deserve privacy during a mental health crisis.

A child's mental health concerns shouldn't be publicized.

Editor's Note: If you are having thoughts about taking your own life, or know of anyone who is in need of help, the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is a United States-based suicide prevention network of over 200+ crisis centers that provides 24/7 service via a toll-free hotline with the number 9-8-8. It is available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress.


It's an unspoken rule that children of politicians should be off limits when it comes to public figure status. Kids deserve the ability to simply be kids without the media picking them apart. We saw this during Obama's presidency when people from both ends of the political spectrum come out to defend Malia and Sasha Obama's privacy and again when a reporter made a remark about Barron Trump.

This is even more important when we are talking about a child's mental health, so seeing detailed reports about Ted Cruz's 14-year-old child's private mental health crisis was offputting, to say it kindly. It feels icky for me to even put the senator's name in this article because it feels like adding to this child's exposure.

When a child is struggling with mental health concerns, the instinct should be to cocoon them in safety, not to highlight the details or speculate on the cause. Ever since the news broke about this child's mental health, social media has been abuzz, mostly attacking the parents and speculating if the child is a member of the LGBTQ community.

Keep ReadingShow less

Famous writers shared their book signing woes with a disheartened new author.

Putting creative work out into the world to be evaluated and judged is nerve-wracking enough as it is. Having to market your work, especially if you're not particularly extroverted or sales-minded, is even worse.

So when you're a newly published author holding a book signing and only two of the dozens of people who RSVP'd show up, it's disheartening if not devastating. No matter how much you tell yourself "people are just busy," it feels like a rejection of you and your work.

Debut novelist Chelsea Banning recently experienced this scenario firsthand, and her sharing it led to an amazing deluge of support and solidarity—not only from other aspiring authors, but from some of the top names in the writing business.

Keep ReadingShow less

This article originally appeared on 04.15.19


On May 28, 2014, 13-year-old Athena Orchard of Leicester, England, died of bone cancer. The disease began as a tumor in her head and eventually spread to her spine and left shoulder. After her passing, Athena's parents and six siblings were completely devastated. In the days following her death, her father, Dean, had the difficult task of going through her belongings. But the spirits of the entire Orchard family got a huge boost when he uncovered a secret message written by Athena on the backside of a full-length mirror.

Keep ReadingShow less

This article originally appeared on 01.22.19


The legality of abortion is one of the most polarized debates in America—but it doesn't have to be.

People have big feelings about abortion, which is understandable. On one hand, you have people who feel that abortion is a fundamental women's rights issue, that our bodily autonomy is not something you can legislate, and that those who oppose abortion rights are trying to control women through oppressive legislation. On the other, you have folks who believe that a fetus is a human individual first and foremost, that no one has the right to terminate a human life, and that those who support abortion rights are heartless murderers.

Then there are those of us in the messy middle. Those who believe that life begins at conception, that abortion isn't something we'd choose—and we'd hope others wouldn't choose—under most circumstances, yet who choose to vote to keep abortion legal.

Keep ReadingShow less