Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Sharing Your COVID Vaccination Card on Social Media Comes with Risks, BBB Says

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The COVID-19 vaccine rollout continues in the U.S. and many Americans want to share the fact they’ve received their shot. But sharing images of your vaccination card could put you at risk.

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has warned that posting photos of your vaccination card to social media could make people vulnerable to identity theft as the card contains personal information.

The BBB pointed to recent scams in the UK involving faked vaccination cards and their advice was clear: sharing personal identifying information online puts people at risk from criminals.

“You got your COVID-19 inoculation, and you are excited to share the good news and encourage others to do the same. You take a selfie holding your vaccination card and post it to Facebook, Instagram, or another social media platform,” the BBB said in an article on Friday.

“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.

“Sharing your personal information isn’t the only issue,” they went on.

“Scammers in Great Britain were caught selling fake vaccination cards on eBay and TikTok. 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.”

“If you want to post about your vaccine, there are safer ways to do it. You can share a photo of your vaccine sticker or set a frame around your profile picture,” the BBB advised.

“Sharing your vaccine photo is just the latest social trend,” the BBB said. “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.”

The BBB offers further information about how “scammers are cashing in the COVID-19 pandemic” and gives free tips on online safety and protecting sensitive personal information on its website.

Nearly 28 million doses of vaccine have been administered so far, according to the CDC, while almost 23 million people have received one or more doses. Two shots are necessary for the vaccine to be most effective but so far just under 5 million people have received both doses.

A Man Receives the COVID-19 Vaccine
A man receives the COVID-19 vaccine at the COVID-19 mass vaccination site at Fenway Park on January 29, in Boston. Some people have been sharing images of their vaccination cards online.
Scott Eisen/Getty Images

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