Receiving their first does of the COVID-19 vaccine is an exciting moment for most people, and social media is set up for sharing life’s most exciting moments, which is why it may be tempting to share a photo of one’s COVID vaccination card online.
Don’t do it, the FBI says.
In a news release Friday, the agency said that since the card contains personal, identifying information, sharing a photo of it on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other platforms could make you vulnerable to identity theft.
“These cards can contain your name, date of birth, patient number, insurance information and location where you received your vaccine,” the FBI said in the news release. “Bad actors can use these images to steal your identify and commit fraud.”
Posting a photo of the card so only connections can see it doesn’t guarantee that no one will use the information you’ve shared to commit fraud either, since anyone within your network will be able to take a screenshot of your photo.
If you have already posted a photo of a vaccine card, the FBI advises removing it immediately. As an alternative to a photo of your vaccination card, they recommend updating your main profile picture with a banner or sticker that says you took your vaccine. The main goal with sharing that information is not to jeopardize your identity.
“Scammers are also using the (photos of) vaccination cards placed onto social media to forge vaccination cards and selling them for profit,” the FBI news release noted.
If you or someone you know believes they have been a victim of identify theft, they should contact their financial institutions immediately and monitor their credit reports.
Victims of identity theft can report it to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.IC3.gov.