A Nevada man has been arrested after reportedly stealing hundreds of blank COVID-19 vaccine cards with intent to sell them on the black market, local authorities confirmed.

Muhammad Rauf Ahmed, a former city contract worker of Las Vegas, has been accused of allegedly taking off with at least 528 cards from a vaccination center at the Pomona Fairplex, Southern California, in April, Fox News reported.

The 45-year-old suspect has been charged with one felony count of grand theft and is scheduled to be indicted on Aug. 25 at the Department F of the Pomona branch Los Angeles County Superior Court.

"Detectives were notified about a possible theft and embezzlement of blank vaccine cards by an employee at the site on April 27," La Verne Police Department (LVPD) said in a press release.

“LVPD Detectives responded and determined that the suspect had stolen blank COVID-19 vaccine cards and put them in his car. While conducting follow-up, detectives located more blank COVID-19 vaccine cards in the suspect’s hotel room. A total of 528 blank COVID-19 vaccine cards were recovered,” the statement continued.

According to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, the vaccination cards have a value of "at least $15 apiece if illegally sold."

Just this Thursday, the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office issued a warning against advertisements popping up on social media offering and selling counterfeit and tampered COVID-19 vaccination cards, the Times of San Diego wrote.

The DA affirmed that individuals found circulating or in possession of fake COVID-19 vaccination cards could face criminal prosecution.

“Those producing and/or selling phony vaccination cards could face both federal and state criminal charges, as COVID-19 vaccine cards contain official U.S. government seals, making it illegal to duplicate without authorization both under federal and California law,” the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office said.

The office also advised those already fully vaccinated not to post their vaccination cards online. The DA warned that this could lead to one’s personal information being stolen and be further used for fraudulent purposes.

San Diego County has urged everyone, especially those with information regarding suspicious activity involving fake vaccination record cards, to contact the appropriate governmental agencies in their state or jurisdiction, such as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General, or the Internet Crime Complaint Center, for any leads.

In April, 45 attorneys general, including Nevada AG Aaron Ford, sent a stern letter warning e-commerce companies like eBay, Shopify, Twitter, and others, to take action against those selling fake COVID-19 vaccine cards on their platforms, New3 noted.

"At a time when getting vaccinated is critical for the health and safety of our community, fraudsters are once again taking advantage of this pandemic and creating fake COVID-19 vaccine cards," said Ford in a statement.

"Making these fake cards is an illegal way to say you have been vaccinated and could put our entire health and safety plan at risk. Nevadans, continue to be vigilant of misinformation going around and file a complaint if you have encountered scams related to COVID-19," he continued.

Vaccine Muhammad Rauf Ahmed, 45, of Las Vegas, has been charged Wednesday after allegedly stealing 528 blank vaccination cards and intending to sell them. He is charged with one felony count of grand theft. The San Diego District Attorney's Office warns that those who sell these cards could face criminal prosecution. This is a representational image. PIXABAY