The Better Business Bureau, or BBB, is warning people not to post pictures of their COVID-19 vaccine record on social media websites.
It may be the hot social media trend to post a photo of your COVID vaccine shot card online, but if you must join the latest fad, at least cover up any identifying information.
Scammers can get your personal information from your card and use it to steal your identity, get credit in your name, or print fake COVID shot records, which they then sell online.
In fact, the BBB reported that scammers in England have been selling falsified COVID vaccine cards online for months; authorities are worried that people will use the fake cards to flout travel restrictions and allow the virus to spread even further.
Typically, shot record cards issued in the U.S. contain your name, date of birth, patient or insurance number, and other information that crooks can use to commit fraud, among other things.
You may think that your name and date of birth aren't that important to identity thieves, but the BBB says that if you don't have your social media settings properly set, anyone can find a photo that may contain your name, location, date of birth, and other personal information via a simple internet search. They can piece that information together with other publicly available data and easily steal your identity or open credit accounts in your name.
Also, while the shot record cards are not currently required for airline travel, employment or school attendance, they may be in the future. Authorities are worried about counterfeit cards being used by those who have not received the vaccination. The cards are being issued to patients as a courtesy, and to remind people when their second dose of the vaccine is due. Currently, all official shot information is maintained in your medical record, which is held either by your medical provider, be it the Department of Veterans Affairs, Tricare, the Defense Department, or a civilian doctor or insurance company.
In fact, the VA says that your vaccination information will be available on My HealtheVet, where you can view or share it with others via your smartphone or computer. Tricare-covered individuals will have access to their information via the Tricare Online Portal.
Eventually, all the information will be available in state or federal databases for sharing with pertinent government agencies as part of whatever reopening plan is developed both nationally and internationally.
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