Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody on Wednesday issued a Consumer Alert warning Floridians about posting COVID-19 vaccine cards online. Vaccination cards issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention include the recipient’s full name, birthdate and vaccine location—information scammers can use to hack online accounts or commit identity fraud.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “It’s exciting to see so many people eager to share news that they are vaccinated against the coronavirus. While the vaccine helps protect against the virus, posting your vaccine card on social media opens you up to another type of plague—the epidemic of scammers scouring the internet for personal information they can use to steal your identity or hack financial accounts.”
In addition to stealing personal information off vaccine cards, scammers may also copy the record to create fake vaccine documentations, as has happened in Great Britain. Scammers may execute a similar scheme here in the United States. The information from vaccination cards that people post to social media gives scammers better insight into how to make phony cards appear realistic.
Attorney General Moody is offering the following tips as reminders for Floridians on how to safely share information on social media:
- Instead of sharing vaccination cards, show off the vaccine sticker given during the appointments, upload a video of receiving the vaccine or use 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. Know 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.
Currently in Florida, persons of 65 years of age and older, health care personnel with direct patient contact and residents and staff of long-term care facilities are prioritized to receive a vaccine. To keep up with the Department of Health’s vaccine availability, click here.
Since the COVID-19 emergency declaration in March 2020, Attorney General Moody has issued more than 30 Consumer Alerts with information about emerging scams and tips to avoid fraud. To view the latest alerts and to stay updated on COVID-19 related scams, visit the Attorney General’s Consumer Alert webpage by clicking here.