BBB Warns of Scams Related to COVID-19 Vaccine Cards
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is cautioning people against posting photos of their COVID-19 vaccine cards online. Cybercriminals are using the sensitive data contained on vaccination cards to steal information and money from vaccine recipients.
Posting a photo of your COVID-19 vaccination card online can lead directly to identity theft and financial theft.
The US Center for Disease Control (CDC) gives people who receive a COID-19 vaccination a paper record. The vaccination card contains information on which COVID-19 vaccine you received, the date you received it, and where you received it.
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Cybercriminals collect the treasure trove of personal information that people post online -vaccine cards included – and put it all together to steal from victims.
The Pfizer, the Moderna, and the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccinations all require two doses. Others like Russia’s Sputnik V vaccination requires just one injection. A vaccine card can help you remember when to go for the second dose.
Vaccine Cards Give Scammers a Good Start
A vaccine card not only contains information about the injection it has also personal information about the recipient.
“Unfortunately, your card has your full name and birthday on it, as well as information about where you got your vaccine. If your social media privacy settings aren’t set high, you may be giving valuable information away for anyone to use,” says the BBB on their website.
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COVID-19 Vaccination Cards Contain
- First and last name
- Date of birth
- Patient ID number
- Which vaccine was administered
- Vaccination date for the first and second doses
- Where you were vaccinated
The CDC vaccination card (below) is sized to fit into your wallet.
Scammers Harvest Data from Social Media Photos
Scammers steal personal information like the data contained on your vaccine card to carry out their various forms of fraud. This includes romance scams, tax fraud, scam phone calls, and identity theft.
When you post personal information to social media it’s not too difficult for scammers to figure out where you live and harvest other useful information like your email address or phone number.
Social media posts may contain information that answers common password reset questions. People often share pets’ photos with their names, which school they attended, or where they were married for example.
Your name and birthdate from the vaccine card can be used along with other information gleaned from social media, dating profiles, and other public-facing websites for identity theft.
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All of this help hackers compromise email accounts and other online accounts.
“Sharing your personal information isn’t the only issue. Scammers in Great Britain were caught selling fake vaccination cards on eBay and TikTok,” warned the BBB.
Immunization Cards are a Not New Thing
Some countries, like Africa, have required immunization certificates for diseases like yellow fever to prevent outbreaks. International travelers can carry International Certificates of Vaccination approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) and sponsored by the US Department of Health.
Share Your Vaccine Sticker
Share a photo of your vaccine sticker instead of the actual vaccine card. The US Center for Disease Control (CDC) created two COVID-19 vaccine stickers to encourage people to wear them after getting the jab. Both the orange and the white version of the sticker read, “I got my Covid-19 vaccine!”
If you don’t get a sticker then just share a photo of yourself with a big smile and a thumbs up!
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For the most up-to-date information about the coronavirus pandemic, visit the (WHO) website