The COVID-19 vaccine has been delivered to millions of people in the U.S so far. Don’t know when you’re eligible to receive the vaccine? Tap or click here to take a quiz that can give you an idea of when you will be.
With the number of vaccinations growing by the day, so are the number of related scams. We’ve seen several examples, including criminals promising early access to the vaccine by paying them money or giving them your personal details in exchange for a spot in line. Tap or click here to see a nasty COVID vaccine scam in action.
If you have already received your dose and COVID-19 vaccine card, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) has a warning for you. Many people who have already received the vaccination are making a huge mistake on social media that could lead to identity theft and more.
Here’s the backstory
Criminals are always on the lookout for an opportunity to make some quick money, and social media is an endless resource. Scanning profiles and posts, scammers try to collect as much personal information they can.
If you post your COVID-19 vaccine card on social media like Facebook or Instagram, you are giving away a lot more information than just your health status. The card contains your full name, birthday and when you were inoculated.
Why does it matter to you?
You might shrug and wonder what the harm is in that. It’s probably not that difficult to determine your full name and birthday from your social media account anyway, right?
Well, you are opening the door to the abuse of legitimate vaccination cards. Criminals have been caught using the information shared on social media to produce fake vaccination cards. Not only does this put you in danger, but it also endangers the lives of others.
As the BBB points out, some of the fake cards have been popping up for sale on eBay. “It’s only a matter of time before similar cons come to the United States and Canada. Posting photos of your card can help provide scammers with information they can use to create and sell phony ones,” BBB explained.
BBB went on to warn that the self-identifying information on your vaccination card makes you vulnerable to identity theft. If your social media privacy settings aren’t set high, you may be giving valuable information away for anyone to use. Tap or click here for 10 Facebook settings to increase privacy and security.
What can you do about it?
The easiest solution is to refrain from posting your vaccination card on any form of social media. But there are other steps that you can also take to safeguard your information.
- If you really want to share your vaccination status, it would be much better to share your sticker instead. When you get the vaccine, you will receive a sticker like the one issued when voting.
- If you didn’t get a sticker, you could alter your vaccination card by blurring or covering important information. You could also add photo elements to the image to make it harder for criminals to steal your data.
- Many social media platforms allow you to set up who can see your posts. Review your security settings so that only the intended audience can view your content. For example, Facebook allows you to set your photos to “friends only” or “public.”
- As more people get vaccinated, there will no doubt be a viral trend to share images of your card. Don’t fall into the trap of social media trends or viral public posts.