Don’t share vaccination selfies! Better Business Bureau warns COVID-19 vaccine cards contain private information that scammers can use to make false documents
- COVID vaccine cards include personal information that scammers can use
- Scammers can steal people’s identity to make false vaccine cards
- Phony vaccine cards have appeared for sale on the dark web and online
- The Better Business Bureau suggests sharing just the vaccine sticker
As millions of Americans receive the coronavirus vaccination, many are celebrating the event by sharing their vaccine card on social media – but the move could lead to identify theft.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is urging the public not to share images with the documents, as the cards include personal information like names, birth dates and vaccination site.
The problem is such information allows scammers to duplicate the cards and create ‘phony ones’ that can be sold on the black market.
The BBB understands that after a long year or so of lockdown, many Americans are proud to share they have been vaccinated and suggests sharing the vaccine sticker instead.
Scroll down for video
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is urging the public not to share images with the documents, as the cards include personal information like names, birth dates and vaccination site
Sharing vaccine photos has become a new social media trend, as more than 10 million Americans have received a jab.
And it is not a surprise that many are excited, as the US has been under some type of lockdown since March 2020.
However, scammers have found ways to use this badge of honor for evil and it ends with identity theft.
‘Unfortunately, your card has your full name and birthday on it, as well as information about where you got your vaccine, the BBB shared in a statement.
The problem is such information allows scammers to duplicate the cards and create ‘phony ones’ that can be sold on the black market
‘If your social media privacy settings aren’t set high, you may be giving valuable information away for anyone to use.’
It isn’t just identify theft that is an issue, although a major one, data thieves are using the vaccine card information to make phony documents to be sold on the black market and even in plain sight – TikTok and eBay.
In December, a TikTok user was advertising fake coronavirus vaccination cards for just $5 each.
The account posted two clips showing off the fake vaccination cards, alongside a link to a Shopify page where they could be purchased. The shop has since become unavailable.
The BBB understands that after a long year or so of lockdown, many Americans are proud to share they have been vaccinated and suggests sharing the vaccine sticker instead
Images of the card appear to be extremely similar to those given to vaccine recipients in Britain, which contains space to detail the name of the vaccine, its batch number and the date that it was injected.
Just last month an even larger scam was uncovered, with bad actors offering fake COVID-19 vaccines online, in e-mails and on messaging apps, luring victims by claiming they can deliver shots within days for as little as $150 up to $1,000.
The FBI and Interpol are warning of pandemic-related fraud schemes, exploiting concerns over the slower-than-promised rollout of the vaccines.
Most Americans will have to wait well into the spring and summer to get their shot.
The BBB is urging Americans to also check security settings on social media platforms to see what is being shared with whom before even posting their vaccine sticker for the world to see.
‘Sharing your vaccine photo is just the latest social trend,’ the organization writes.
‘Think twice before participating in other viral personal posts, such as listing all the cars you’ve owned (including makes/model years), favorite songs, and top 10 TV shows. Some of these ‘favorite things’ are commonly used passwords or security questions.’