Some people will go to great lengths to avoid wearing a face covering to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Some have said the masks violate their civil liberties. Others say, “I can’t breathe.” The complaints have led to the production and distribution of Face Mask Exempt Cards.

Beware: They are fake.

Cards and flyers proclaiming the holder is exempt from wearing face masks are fraudulent and not officially endorsed the by U.S. government, the Department of Justice said in a statement, after reports of people using the fake cards to mock mandated face coverings emerged on social media.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom has ordered all residents to wear face coverings. 

The Face Mask Exempt Cards which have reportedly been produced by some individuals at business establishments that enforce masking contain a fake DOJ seal and a logo of a group called the Freedom To Breathe Agency, whose website has been taken down.

According to Forbes, An archived version of the downed website of the group claims that it is “a movement of proud American citizens who are dedicated to protecting their freedom and liberty.”

Text on the card claims that the user is exempt from any ordinance requiring face mask usage in public adding that “wearing a face mask possesses a mental and/or physical risk to me. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), I am not required to disclose my condition to you.”

The fraudulent Face Mask Exempt Cards threatens “violators” who would presumably force the holder to wear a mask with fines of $75,000 to $150,000.

One shopper, who refused to wear a face mask at a Trader Joe’s flew into a rage when confronted.

The DOJ in its statement said it “has been made aware of postings or flyers on the internet regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the use of face masks due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many of which include the Department of Justice’s seal,” adding that “these postings were not issued by the Department and are not endorsed by the Department.”

As new cases surge across the country, mask-wearing has become a partisan issue, despite recommendations from the CDC calling for the use of facial coverings in areas where social distancing guidelines may be difficult to maintain. President Donald Trump has repeatedly refused to wear masks in public, a move that has found support within his base.  Last month, a Quinnipiac University poll showed that while 90% of Democrats and 66% of independents said that President Trump should wear a face mask when he is out in public, only 38% of Republican voters shared the same opinion.