According to a report by the Salzburg ORF, there is an increasing number of cases in Austria according to which vaccine skeptics offer those who have tested positive money to do the gargle test for them. With the surreptitious positive test result, they are considered to be “recovered” without ever having been through an infection. This new scam is now causing problems for the authorities because it is very difficult to track. Infected people are offered up to 150 euros, including several samples for the whole family.
The health authorities are aware of this trick, but it is difficult to prosecute people legally. “As far as I know from the stories, people would rather accept quarantine than infected people – in order to then have a recovered certificate for a certain period of time,” said Salzburg State Medical Director Petra Juhasz. And warned in this context of negative consequences for the general public: “Of course, we fall on our head when we have many recovered people on paper – but who actually have no immune protection.”
According to prosecutors, people who deal with fake gargle tests face a fine or even up to a year in prison. The authority emphasizes that any suspicion will be reported. Because: Fake results could mean that it takes longer to end the pandemic.