A Bad Cocktail: Vaccine Cards and Social Media Don’t Mix.

Following a recent Better Business Bureau (BBB) warning, on 05 Feb, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) both shared announcements cautioning individuals against oversharing their vaccine info on social media. We’d like to amplify those concerns with this quick post. To further share those warnings, we’ve included links and excerpts below.

BBB Tip: Don’t Share Your COVID-19 Vaccine Card On Social Media, 29 Jan. “Got your COVID-19 vaccine? Great job! But don’t share a photo of your vaccination card on social media. The self-identifying information on it makes you vulnerable to identity theft and can help scammers create phony versions.” 

FTC: Social media is no place for COVID-19 vaccination cards, 05 Feb. “Once you have received your COVID-19 vaccine, the FBI is asking that you don’t post a photo of your CDC vaccination card on social media. These cards can contain your name, date of birth, patient number, insurance information, and location where you received your vaccine. Bad actors can use these images to steal your identify and commit fraud.”

FBI El Paso Warns About Not Posting Your CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Card on Social Media Platforms, 05 Feb. “Scammers are also using the vaccination cards placed onto social media to forge vaccination cards and selling them for profit.”

The posts offer a few ideas on how to share safely on social media and what to do if you may be the victim of identity theft (the following includes direct excerpts and modified statements from the above), including:

  •  Share your vaccine sticker or use a profile frame instead. If you want to post about your vaccine, rather than using a photo of your card, 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. And, as a good general reminder, if you can use two-step, two-factor or multi-factor authentication, do it!
  • Be wary of answering popular social media prompts. Want to share the news about your vaccination? How about a photo of a nifty adhesive bandage on the injection site? (You can show off your tattoos and deltoids at the same time.) Or, post a photo of your white or orange vaccine sticker. The stickers are really cool.
  • Already posted too much info? If you have already posted a photo of a vaccine card, here are some options: Remove it and update your profile picture with a banner or a sticker advising that you took your vaccine. The main goal is to not jeopardize your identity.
  • Think you might be a victim of identity theft? If you feel that you have been a victim of identify theft, contact your financial institutions immediately and monitor your credit reports and if you have been victimized you can report it to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.IC3.gov.
  • If you need additional assistance, you can contact our team for more resources or help.