MEMPHIS, Tn. (CBS46) -- Shocking attempts to skirt the COVID-19 vaccine mandates. Thousands of fake vaccine cards were seized by federal agents in recent months. It comes as the country approaches the Nov. 22 federal vaccine mandate deadline, which will impact as many as 100-million American workers. 

378 miles North of Atlanta is where US Customs and Borders Protection Officers work around the clock to stop illegal contraband from getting into Georgia.

"There's a lot more narcotics," said US Customs and Border Protection officer Christopher Clark.

The agents in Memphis, Tennessee find MDMA - known as ecstasy - cocaine, and fentanyl nonstop. 

"We enforce over 400 laws from 40 different agencies," said Clark. 

But now, they have a new challenge on their hands.

"We've seized roughly a thousand shipments," said Clark. "Each containing anywhere from 5 to 100 cards."

The 18-year veteran is talking about hundreds of counterfeit covid-19 vaccine cards, infiltrating the states from foreign countries. 

It started over the summer when officers were looking for counterfeit driver's licenses and then they found the first batch of counterfeit vaccine cards.

In September, the Biden Administration announced a covid-19 vaccination mandate. 

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"What our objective is from the federal government is to continue to take bold and ambitious steps to get people vaccinated and to protect more people," said Jen Psaki, White House press secretary.

At least 14,788 fake vaccine cards have come into the United States through Memphis since the mandate was announced. Of those, seven shipments were originally heading to Georgia - to cities like Dalton, Savannah and Atlanta.

"They seem to be a hot commodity right now," said Clark.

But Clark says the cards aren't so believable. 

"We all tossed it around, looked at it," said Clark. "Upon closer look, the high gloss paper, the misspellings, the grammatical errors, is what helped us determine they were counterfeit."

Authorities say it could be difficult to pursue any legal action with businesses in other countries supplying them. But buying, selling, or using counterfeit vaccine cards is a crime. It can be categorized as un-authorized use of an official government agency seal, fraud, or theft. 

"I know people have their stance on it - and my stance is, it's a violation of federal law," said Clark.

Copyright 2021 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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