As Lollapalooza returns to Chicago starting Thursday, the Better Business Bureau and FBI are warning of possible fake vaccination card scams at the large music festival.
Lollapalooza marks Chicago's biggest public event since the city’s re-opening, with more than 100,000 attendees expected each day of the four-day event.
As a requirement, attendees must show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test result obtained within 72 hours of attending. The festival now plans to look out for fake vaccination cards, in addition to the usual fake tickets they're on high alert for.
"Just like finding tickets, there are countless ways for consumers to find vaccinations cards online, with online marketplaces, ticket sellers, resellers and the like," said Steve Bernas, president and CEO of Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois, in a statement, "and unfortunately, some of them are rip-offs."
With entry being at stake, some buyers may purchase a fake vaccine card instead of actually getting vaccinated, allowing scammers to benefit from it, the BBB said.
"This scam is especially dangerous because fake tests and vaccine cards not only put people at a health risk, but buying and selling illegal cards is a crime," Bernas said.
The FBI also made a statement concerning the potential fraudulent cards.
"FBI Chicago reminds the public that the creation, purchase, or sale of fake vaccine cards by individuals is illegal, dangerous, and punishable with significant fines and prison time," the agency said.
Organizers are encouraging attendees to bring their physician vaccination cards or negative COVID-19 test results instead of screenshots on their phones. According to the BBB, this will help speed up the process at a crowded entry point.