Italian police cracked a fake health passport program in the Telegram app
08/09/2021 – 14:55
A woman has her Green Pass checked before entering a pizzeria as Italy imposes stricter restrictions that require proof of immunity to access a range of services and leisure activities in Rome, Italy, Aug 6, 2021 Receive. REUTERS / Remo Casilli / drop photo
ROM: The Italian police blocked several groups on the Telegram mobile messaging app on Monday that allowed users to purchase fake COVID-19 health badges, which are necessary to access a range of services and recreational activities.
The so-called Green Pass is a digital or paper certificate that shows whether someone has received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, tested negative, or has recently recovered from the virus.
Mario Draghi’s government accepted the passport to try to speed up vaccinations in the face of the Delta variant, but it has sparked protests from some Italians who say it tramples on freedoms and is an indirect way to get vaccines To do duty.
From August 6th, access to fitness studios, swimming pools, museums, cinemas and to eat indoors in restaurants is compulsory, from September 1st also for students and traveling on trains, planes, ships and buses.
Police said in a statement they had shut down 32 Telegram groups operating across the country and offered fake passports for up to 500 euros ($ 588) in cryptocurrency or online shopping vouchers to thousands of subscribers.
Four people were investigated on suspicion of fraud and forgery.
Italy has recorded 128,220 COVID-19 deaths since its outbreak last February, the second highest number in Europe and the eighth highest in the world. So far 4.4 million cases have been registered.
However, many citizens are still reluctant to get vaccinated, even as hospital admissions pick up again.
About 66% of Italians have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine and about 55% are fully vaccinated, the latest data show. According to the Ministry of Health, out of a population of around 60 million, around 20 million green certificates have been downloaded.