A Kerry-based designer has spoken of his shock after receiving a request for 250 fake HSE vaccination cards.
The Brand Geeks recently revealed the request on their Twitter account and owner Chris McGillycuddy told BreakingNews.ie: “We were shocked just to get the call, we were thinking 'God, it's just mad'.”
To the person asking us to print 250 of these cards so they'll be able to dine indoors with friends
, the answer is NO!!
It does show how flawed it is that these are proof of vaccination @MichealMartinTD
Anyone could copy these, the whole thing is a joke! #COVID pic.twitter.com/uXAkBUhx02
— The Brand Geeks 🤓 (@thebrandgeeks) July 1, 2021
“We'd often get requests like someone may come to us looking to get a well known brand printed on their clothing, they might want Nike tops printed or whatever, obviously for us, it's a no right away,” he explained.
“With this I think it was an entrepreneurial call with someone thinking I can print 250 of these now and sell them off to my friends, so we can get into the pubs.”
Vaccinated people will begin to receive digital Covid certificates for travel in the European Union from Monday, while there is much confusion over Government's plans to open indoor hospitality to vaccinated people on July 19th at the earliest.
From Monday, the Government also plans to issue letters that can act as 'passports' in place of vaccination cards.
Mr McGillycuddy pointed out that it would be very easy for people to forge HSE vaccination cards in their current form.
A graphic designer could do it in 10 minutes.
“The print assets are available on the HSE website, so it's not like you wouldn't be able to, a graphic designer could do it in 10 minutes. Obviously we wouldn't even think of doing it, but it would be a simple job to do.
“The point of us sharing the tweet was just to highlight the issue, you go to so much trouble getting your vaccines and getting your two shots and then at the end of it all you have is a slip of paper. It's almost the equivalent to giving somebody a business card and saying 'there you go, you're good to go now'.”
He feels the current vaccination cards are open to forgery, adding that this is why he chose to share the request.
“They've spent €1.2 million developing a Covid app, so you'd think there could be a facility that when you get your vaccine it could be registered on the app as well. Our job isn't to come out with the answers of course, we just wanted to point out the problem.”
Mr McGillycuddy added: “Normally when someone calls us and says 'I want Timberland across my t-shirt' or whatever, you're kind of thinking 'are these people for real?'
“We don't even take people's information for that kind of thing, it's a 30-second call, we'll just say that's not something we're willing to do. I couldn't imagine any printer in the country doing something like that.”