Many of San Diego’s essential workers are now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, which means that thousands of teachers, first-responders and food workers can start signing up for appointments.
It also means, however, that there are more chances for people to try to steal personal information.
“People are excited about this and excited to let people know they were able to do it,” said Marilyn Huffman, regional director of the Better Business Bureau. “They’re posting pictures, taking a quick selfie and showing off that card.”
When someone is vaccinated, they receive a small white card that includes their full name, birthdate and where they received the vaccine. Some of that information is usually shared with those selfies.
“That card does have very personal information on it that can be utilized to steal your identity,” Huffman said. “We just want people to avoid that.”
Online predators can use their knowledge of personal information to trick unsuspecting people into clicking on a bad link or handing over even more information. Sharing information, like where a vaccine was administered can give them an opportunity to try and lie about who they are.
In addition, posting photos of the card can give forgers an opportunity to create fake cards, a problem already seen in such places as Europe.
“There have been scammers caught selling these fake vaccination cards,” Huffman said. “They can take your information and use that to create a false card for someone else.”
Of course, after the nearly year-long pandemic, Huffman said, she knows people are excited to share that they have gotten the vaccine. She said to think about what is posted and who can see it, though.
“I recommend you stay up on those social-media security settings before you share personal information of any kind,” Huffman said.