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NATIONWIDE — Getting a COVID-19 vaccine lately has also been compared to winning the lottery, and many people are excited to show their luck. But showing proof of receiving the vaccine can be just as dangerous as sharing your social security number with a stranger, experts are saying.
According to the Better Business Bureau, sharing a photo of your vaccine card on social media can put you at risk for fraud and identity theft.
“Because when you show your vaccine card online, you’re also showing your full name, birthday, what vaccine you got and where you got it done,” said Jamie Howell, spokeswoman for the Greater Hampton Roads Better Business Bureau area.
“Scammers can match anything with anything,” she added.
The Federal Trade Commission also posted a warning to newly-vaccinated people.
“Just by knowing your date and place of birth, scammers sometimes can guess most of the digits of your Social Security number,” they warned in a post from Feb. 5.
Identity theft isn’t the only worry.
According to Howell, the BBB also reports scammers in Great Britain were caught selling fake vaccination cards on eBay and TikTok.
While there haven’t been reports of fraud or theft from vaccine cards in the Historic Triangle, according to James City County Police Department, Poquoson Sheriff’s Office, and the Williamsburg Police Department, Howell said it’s still a good idea to avoid sharing sensitive information online.
The BBB shared the following safety tips:
- Share your vaccine sticker or use a profile frame instead. Much like voting, people who receive a vaccine dose also get a sticker. You can share a photo of your vaccine sticker or set a frame around your profile picture.
- Review your security settings. Check your security settings on all social media platforms to see what you are sharing and with whom. If you only want friends and family to see your posts, be sure that’s how your privacy settings are configured.
- Be wary of answering popular social media prompts. Think twice before participating in other viral personal posts, such as listing all the cars you’ve owned, favorite songs, and top 10 TV shows. Some of these “favorite things” are commonly used passwords or security questions.
For more information on how to keep your personal information secure, click here. If you’ve spotted a scam, report it to the Better Business Bureau’s BBB Scam Tracker.
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