State Attorney General Ashley Moody offered a reminder this week to Floridians of the risks associated with posting COVID-19 vaccine cards online.
Moody initially warned of scams associated with vaccine card posts in February, but since then, millions of Floridians have received a vaccine. With the ramp up in vaccinations occurring throughout the state, comes an increased risk of fraud related to the inoculations. Vaccination cards issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) include the recipient’s full name, birthdate and vaccine location—information scammers can use to hack online accounts or commit identity fraud.
“It is encouraging to see so many Floridians receiving their COVID-19 vaccines, but be cautious when sharing the good news online. Scammers can use information from a vaccine card to hack financial accounts, commit identity theft or even create fake vaccinations cards and sell them on the black market. Instead of posting your card, consider using an announcement or picture that does not reveal any personal information,” Moody said on Tuesday.
Posting pictures of vaccination cards presents another downside besides sharing personal information that scammers covet—the posts could help scammers create phony vaccine cards. According to the American Association of Retired Persons, fake cards are popping up for sale on social media platforms and other websites.
COVID-19 has forced millions of Floridians to work, learn and socialize more online, which scammers are taking advantage of by ramping up online scams. Consumers should be wary about what information is shared online.
Moody offered the following tips as reminders for Floridians on how to safely share vaccination news or other information on social media:
- Instead of sharing vaccination cards, consider using 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 or personal information. Know that the responses to 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.