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Media contact: Lynsey Mukomel 517-599-2746
Public inquiries: 517-335-7622
August 31, 2021
LANSING - Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel has filed a petition with the Macomb County Circuit Court seeking authorization to issue a subpoena to Facebook to learn the identity of an apparent scammer who claimed to be selling blank Coronavirus vaccination cards in an online marketplace. The filing, made under the Michigan Consumer Protection Act, details how a fake persona was used to solicit buyers on Mom2MomSwap-Macomb County. The solicitation has since been removed from the site.
A complaint about the blank cards, filed by a Macomb County resident with the Department's Consumer Protection team, prompted the petition. The special agent investigating the matter determined the identity in the Facebook profile, claiming to be someone named Kristin Holliday, was itself a fake. The profile contained stock photos, including one commonly used to advertise Hawaiian vacations. And, while Kristin Holliday is a common name for real people in Michigan and throughout the country, inquiry into the biographical information connected with the profile showed no association with any of the real people sharing that name. The use of stock photos and common names are noted in the petition as hallmarks of fraudulent activity.
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"Let this be a warning to those who take a shot at buying or selling fake vaccination cards in Michigan," Nessel said. "Although this one looks to be just a money-for-nothing scam, we will dig into complaints like this and vigorously pursue those who put lives in danger with fake vaccination cards."
The petition, filed Monday, asks the Macomb Circuit Court to issue an order authorizing an investigation that will begin with a subpoena to Facebook for information about the person creating the online profile. Under the proposed order submitted with the petition, the Attorney General would then have discretion to issue additional subpoenas based on what is learned from Facebook.
The Department's petition can be found online.
In April, Nessel joined a bipartisan group of attorneys general to call on Twitter, eBay, and Shopify to act immediately to prevent people from offering to sell fraudulent Centers for Disease Control (CDC) vaccination cards on their platforms.
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Anyone aware of the sale of fake vaccination cards, or any consumer scam, is encouraged to file a complaint with the Department:
Consumer Protection Division
P.O. Box 30213
Lansing, MI 48909
Toll free: 877-765-8388
Online complaint form
Your connection to consumer protection is just a click or phone call away. Nessel's Consumer Alerts educate Michiganders on a variety of scams and warnings, including common tactics used on social media to buy or sell goods through a fake account. The Department provides a library of resources for consumers to review anytime on a variety of topics.
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