With COVID-19 variants posing a threat, many governments are now requiring that passengers present a negative COVID-19 test prior to traveling.
And some travelers have already found a dangerous and illegal workaround.
“I just fired up Photoshop and changed the date,” one man told Vice’s Motherboard.
The man, who chose to remain anonymous to avoid legal repercussions, admitted to forging a negative COVID test for himself and his group of friends.
“Fun fact, the document [test result] was in French whereas they were in Sweden the day it was supposedly made, but they didn’t see a problem in that,” he said.
He’s not the only one either. Another traveler, who went to Southern Europe, said he changed the date on an old test in Microsoft Paint.
While forgery is a felony in the United States and a serious criminal offense in other countries, some passengers consciously choose to risk it because they say the tests are expensive.
“Motivation is mostly to save money,” one traveler told the publication over Whatsapp. They also added that they don’t intend to spread the virus “or have anything against testing.”
Those who want to travel internationally are typically required to have PCR tests done, which can cost over $100 and even go up to $250.
One traveler told the publication that while he felt “kind of scared” about getting caught, he also said that “it’s very likely that most Airline workers are not looking out for this type of fraud.”
The outlet noted that an administrator for the aviation trade association Airlines for America confirmed that many check-in staff aren’t trained to spot fake results.
However, airlines that don’t catch fake results may face steep fines.