RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – There is concern about how people are telling others about receiving the COVID-19 vaccine with more and more people getting the shots.
Some people are going online with pictures of those cards.
That could result in the loss of your identity or give someone a way to travel abroad without getting the shot.
That online bragging is fertile ground for criminals to take advantage of you.
“What’s on these little, wallet-sized cards, your first name, last name, a date of birth, which vaccine it is, when you need to go back,” said BBB spokeswoman Sandra Guile.
The BBB has issued a warning about that trend because you’re opening yourself up to identity theft and more.
For example, scammers can use that information to open credit cards in your name.
Add your social security number, which may have been hacked in a data breach, plus your address readily found online, and you’ve lost your identity to a thief.
To safeguard yourself the BBB recommends:
- If you’ve already posted your vaccine card online – take it down
- Share a photo of your vaccine sticker instead
- Check the security settings on your social media pages to see with whom you are sharing content
Posting your card online isn’t just an identity theft problem.
“It’s easy to make copies of things and with scanners and being able to copy and paste, it would be easy for someone to get on your social media and copy and paste that and create something that looks very similar to an immunization card,” said Dr. Sherri Young, who is worried about fake vaccine cards getting out in the general public.
Fake cards are easy to find.
It took CBS 17 Consumer Investigator Steve Sbraccia less than 30 seconds on eBay to find an ad offering a 4-pack of CDC style vaccination cards for $35.
As of Tuesday, the site selling the cards indicated 59 had been sold.
With cards like that floating around, the unscrupulous can also use them for travel fraud.
Many countries now require some sort of proof that you have taken a COVID-19 test or have been vaccinated. With phony cards, someone who is infected can travel freely.
In some foreign countries, you face fines, as well as several years in jail for faking a COVID-19 test or using a fake vaccination card.
In the meantime, there’s work being done to create digital, scannable vaccine ID cards – a so-called vaccine passport.
That would be a lot more difficult, but not impossible, to copy.