While millions of people across the country are now receiving vaccine, there are still some that choose not to receive it. Due to the possibility of travel restrictions being put in place for those without the vaccine, some are turning to buying and selling fake COVID-19 vaccination cards.
These COVID-19 vaccination cards can contain your name, date of birth, patient number, insurance information, and location where you received your vaccine. These information can be used by some people to steal your identify and commit fraud.
If the privacy settings on your preferred social platforms are not strict, you may run the risk of the posted image being widely shared.
Chris Babin with the Better Business Bureau of Acadiana said, “There are websites that are being created to sell fake vaccine cards to look like the CDC cards that some people are opting to pay for, instead of actually getting the vaccine.”
Authorities are sending warning again against people posting and sharing their vaccine information on social media.
“We would caution people against that because your personal information is on that card and not share it because things you put on social media isn’t as protected as you might think,” Babin said.
It’s also possible to be scammed when trying to buy a fake vaccination card, according to Babin.
“Your personal identifiable information could end up in the hands of a scammer because they might need that information to fill out your “fake vaccine card” and also you’re going to have to pay for it, so that financial information can be taken by the scammer,” he said.
All it takes is a thumb to scroll through the right social media and hackers sitting on those living room couches can find hundreds of vaccination ID cards out there.
So what can an identity thief do with this information? They can start to dig deeper. If you post it, the Better Business Bureau says you put a target on your back and with a few simple searches; hackers may be able to get one more piece of information that will allow them to access your identity. The less personal information you have out there, the less chance you’ll become a victim.
“A lot of people ask how is this actually going to hurt me posting it? Again it’s just one more element of your identity you really don’t need to post out there,” Frey adds.
Doctors are asking to laminate the ID card right after you get vaccinated. This is a good idea because you may need to show that ID card later on, say to get on a plane. So they are now finding those for sale on different websites, which are selling forgeries and people know what they look like to make fakes.
Scammers are also using the vaccination cards placed onto social media to forge vaccination cards and selling them for profit.
“It’s actually Identity Theft Awareness Week this week, so it is a perfect time to be talking about little things like this that could potentially put your identity at risk.”
So if you do want to post something on social media showing that you are proud you got vaccinated, get a little pen that goes on your lapel and you can post that. That way everybody knows you got vaccinated without having access to your personal ID.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) released a public service announcement Tuesday reiterating that buying or selling a fake COVID-19 vaccination card not only endangers the community but is also against the law. The PSA reads in part,
“Fake vaccination record cards have been advertised on social media websites, as well as e-commerce platforms and blogs. Vaccination record cards are intended to provide recipients of the COVID-19 vaccine with information about the type of vaccine they received, and when they may be able to receive a second dose of the vaccine. If you did not receive the vaccine, do not buy fake vaccine cards, do not make your own vaccine cards, and do not fill-in blank vaccination record cards with false information. By misrepresenting yourself as vaccinated when entering schools, mass transit, workplaces, gyms, or places of worship, you put yourself and others around you at risk of contracting COVID-19. Additionally, the unauthorized use of an official government agency’s seal (such as HHS or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)) is a crime, and may be punishable under Title 18 United States Code, Section 1017, and other applicable laws.”
If you have already posted a photo of a vaccine card, here are some options: Remove it and update your profile picture with a banner or a sticker advising that you took your vaccine. The main goal is to not jeopardize your identity.
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