Israelis buying fake permits sold on black market to avoid lockdown

The permits are being sold for around NIS 1,000 on Telegram, and among them can essential worker permits and exceptions from wearing a mask.

Police patrolling as young people sit outside wearing masks, September 2020. (photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/ MAARIV)
Police patrolling as young people sit outside wearing masks, September 2020.
(photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/ MAARIV)
As government efforts to contain the coronavirus in Israel are tightening, fake permits are being sold on the black market to Israelis who want to avoid lockdown, N12 reported.
The permits are being sold for around NIS 1,000 on Telegram. Among the offerings: essential worker permits and exceptions from wearing a mask. 
In a conversation with a N12 reporter pretending to be a buyer, one seller on Telegram said that the many of these permits are already circulating through the public. He said that the permits will be delivered to the buyers, and that they have authentic looking official stamps on them. 
"If a police officer comes right now, and you show him this, he well tell you to 'go.' I will deliver this to your house for NIS 1,000," he told the N12 reporter.
The fake permits look authentic, and even include a signature from officials. They're being sold for between NIS 750-850, and delivery costs about NIS 150 more. An exception from wearing a mask only costs NIS 500, however, according to N12. If  the buyer brings a friend, he or she gets one for free.
The sellers prefer to receive payments in Bitcoin, as they claim this is more secure. 
"It can end in imprisonment, there are no games here," a seller said.