On Wednesday, state Attorney General Ashley Moody issued a Consumer Alert warning Floridians about posting COVID-19 vaccine cards online.
Vaccination cards issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention include the recipient’s full name, birthdate and vaccine location—information scammers can use to hack online accounts or commit identity fraud.
“It’s exciting to see so many people eager to share news that they are vaccinated against the coronavirus. While the vaccine helps protect against the virus, posting your vaccine card on social media opens you up to another type of plague—the epidemic of scammers scouring the internet for personal information they can use to steal your identity or hack financial accounts,” Moody said on Wednesday.
In addition to stealing personal information off vaccine cards, scammers may also copy the record to create fake vaccine documentations, as has happened in Great Britain. Scammers may execute a similar scheme here in the United States. The information from vaccination cards that people post to social media gives scammers better insight into how to make phony cards appear realistic.
Moody offered the following tips as reminders for Floridians on how to safely share information on social media:
- Instead of sharing vaccination cards, show off the vaccine sticker given during the appointments, upload a video of receiving the vaccine or use a Got My Vaccine profile picture frame;
- Do not post anything that contains personal or identifying information online;
- Be wary of viral social media trends that often highlight a user’s assortment of favorite things.
- Know these trends are often commonly used to inspire passwords or security questions; and
- Always use strong passwords on all accounts—include numbers and special characters.
Currently in Florida, persons of 65 years of age and older, health care personnel with direct patient contact and residents and staff of long-term care facilities are prioritized to receive a vaccine.