PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY/WTNH) — A warning from the FBI as the number of people vaccinated continues to grow, and so does the risk for identity theft.
It seems like a lot of people who get vaccinated go onto social media and post their vaccination ID card. On it has personal information, and the FBI says it is a bad idea to put it out in public.
These cards can contain your name, date of birth, patient number, insurance information, and the location where you received your vaccine. Bad actors can use these images to steal your identity and commit fraud.
All it takes is a thumb to scroll through the right social media and hackers sitting on those living room couch can find hundreds of vaccination ID cards out there.
So what can an identity thief do with this information? They can start to dig deeper. If you post it, the Better Business Bureau says you put a target on your back and with a few simple searches, hackers may be able to get one more piece of information that will allow them to access your identity. The less personal information you have out there, the less chance you’ll become a victim.
“A lot of people ask how is this actually going to hurt me posting it? Again it’s just one more element of your identity you really don’t need to post out there,” Frey adds.
Doctors are asking that once you get vaccinated to laminate the ID card. It’s a good idea because you may need to show that ID card later on, say to get on a plane. So they are now finding those for sale on different websites, which are selling forgeries and people know what they look like to make fakes.
Scammers are also using the vaccination cards placed onto social media to forge vaccination cards and selling them for profit.
“It’s actually Identity Theft Awareness Week this week, so it is a perfect time to be talking about little things like this that could potentially put your identity at risk.”
So if you do want to post something on social media showing that you are proud you got vaccinated, get a little pen that goes on your lapel and you can post that. That way everybody knows you got vaccinated without having access to your personal ID.
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.
If you feel that you have been a victim of identify theft, contact your financial institutions immediately and monitor your credit reports.