Police warn of internet scam offering bogus coronavirus travel certificates
Police in Spain have issued a warning over an internet scam which offers bogus coronavirus travel certificates within 24 hours.
A woman has been arrested in Madrid for sending them out by email at a cost of 40 euros amid claims that tourists have already used them to get into holiday destinations.
Police say their investigations are ongoing and they are looking for purchasers of the certificates who would also be prosecuted for fraud.Spain is one of the countries which requires international travellers to have a travel certificate which proves they are negative from coronavirus. They have to take the test within 72 hours of travel. For Spain, the test required is a PCR which usually costs in the region of £100. Only the Canaries will accept the cheaper rapid test result.
Spanish police say the woman arrested took advantage of the rules of some countries which request negative Covid-19 certificates.A police spokesman said: “She offered them on internet sales pages at 40 euros and in less than 24 hours she sent them to the buyer’s email. “The investigation began at the end of October when the head of a Madrid laboratory told the police that false negative PCR certificates were circulating on behalf of her company. These were being issued without her authorisation and therefore without any testing or analysis.
“The reports were offered through well-known sales pages, adding in the advertisement that they were valid to travel to any country and, in addition, boasting that several people had already used the false certificates without any problem. The laboratory representative herself stated that the reports offered were completely fraudulent and with a great similarity to the originals in their format,” said the police spokesman.
“As a result of a quick investigation, the author was identified and located. The investigation remains open pending the identification, location and arrest of the buyers of the fraudulent certificates.”The woman faces prosecution for a crime against public health and another crime of document falsification for selling false PCR certificates.