LANSING, Mich. (WLNS)— In the fight against COVID-19 vaccinations are highly recommended by most health experts. Usually, individuals who receive the treatment want to show solidarity and post their COVID-19 vaccination card on social media platforms. Although heightened emotions are natural this could open the doorway for scammers to retrieve personal information like social security numbers.
The COVID-19 vaccination card has a person’s date of birth, full name, and information on where you received your first dose of the vaccine. Although this is simple information the card provides details a scammer would need to either perform identity theft or trick people into giving out their social security numbers.
According to the Better Business Bureau, 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. The Better Business Bureau also states when individuals post pictures of their cards it can help provide scammers with information to potentially create and sell fake COVID-19 vaccine cards too.
“Scammers often try to gather as much information on you as possible,” Troy Baker, the Better Business Bureau’s educational foundation director said, “they are scouring your social media posts trying to put together a profile on you so they can find good ways to scam you.”
Baker suggests you could be a victim of a scam if you receive a text message regarding scheduling with your second-dose. Therefore, they can trick individuals into verbally telling them their social security numbers.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, when a scammer finds out about your birthday they can sometimes even guess most of the digits of your Social Security number. If a scammer retrieves that information, they can open accounts under your name, claim a tax refund, or engage in other identity theft.
“If you think of your security as a combination lock… They have your social security number,” Baker said, “they have your date of birth, and once they get the full combination they can get everything.”
Most importantly Baker suggests if a COVID-19 vaccination card was posted on social media platforms to remove it immediately and check privacy settings on various social media platforms.
“Make sure your privacy settings on social media are locked down to a certain group not sharing it with everybody…” Baker suggested, “That’s going to make it harder for them to come to find it, and just think about what you’re sharing out there is something that will give people the opportunity to take advantage of you in some way.”
Baker also says if you are a victim of a scam text, or call regarding a second-dose you should immediately contact your COVID-19 vaccination center. They usually already have all pieces of personal contact information.
Plus, if you are tempted to boast about your current status as vaccinated then Baker recommends posting selfies of the vaccination itself, or even a sticker some vaccination centers provide.