Face mask exemption cards with DOJ seal are fake, beware of social media scam, agency says


Cards, like this, and other documents bearing the Department of Justice seal and claiming that individuals are exempt from face mask requirements are fraudulent.

The Department of Justice is warning the public of fraudulent cards and other documents with the agency’s logo that claims individuals are exempt from mask-wearing requirements.

“Some versions of these cards threaten businesses or organizations with fines if they take steps to require patrons to wear masks. In an effort to make the cards or documents appear legitimate, fraudsters may include the U.S. Department of Justice’s seal or include other threatening language,” the agency stated in a news release.

The cards may claim that the owner does not have to wear a face mask, and may cite the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Inaccurate flyers or other postings have been circulating on social media since last month regarding the use of face masks and the ADA due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of these notices included use of the Department of Justice seal and ADA phone number.

“These postings were not issued by the Department and are not endorsed by the Department,” the DOJ said in a statement.

Misuse of the Department seal is a federal crime.

The Department urges the public not to rely on the information contained in these postings and to visit ADA.gov for ADA information issued by the Department.

The ADA does not provide a blanket exemption to people with disabilities from complying with legitimate safety requirements necessary for safe operations.

Wearing a face mask is one of the most effective ways to slow the spread of COVID-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

This week, the Alabama Department of Education has ordered 2.5 million facial coverings for the students and staff but won’t make wearing them a requirement for returning to the classroom.