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Why posting your COVID-19 vaccination card on social media isn't a good idea

COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card vaccine card
Posted at 5:43 PM, Apr 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-05 18:43:06-04

For months, taking a selfie with your COVID-19 vaccination card seems to be almost a social media trend -- a way to celebrate the moment.

Graham Hartlauv said he's seen many people posting pictures of themselves with the vaccine cards.

"I saw them post since I want to say early December or early January," he continued.

"It was cool to know that my peers were safe," Hartlauv said.

The vaccine card has your full name, your date of birth, where you got your shot, and the dates you got it. Consumer advocates warn posting the cards may be a risky move.

"Even if it seems like there's not a lot of information there, it's enough for scammers to wreak havoc with it," said Lisa Schiller with the Better Business Bureau Serving Wisconsin.

So what can a criminal do with this information on the card?

The Federal Trade Commission says a name and date of birth are pieces to a puzzle criminals use to try and steal your identity. If they do, they can open accounts in your name or claim your tax refund.

The BBB shares con-artists can also use the image you posted online and create a phony version of a vaccine card.

Some experts warn that could potentially interfere with you getting your second dose.

The BBB Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) haven't seen complaints on this yet, but the BBB reports criminals in Great Britain were caught selling fake vaccine cards on eBay and TikTok.

"On one hand, it's nice to know that they're safe. On the other hand, I want them to stay safe," said Hartlauv.

If you already shared the photo, consumer advocates say delete it, or at the very least blur or cover your date of birth.

"We know that you're excited about getting the vaccine. You want to share that information. Go ahead and share it in a post but don't post a photo of your vaccine card," Schiller continued.

Take a selfie with a sticker or share a photo of you getting the vaccine.