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Tuesday, April 20, 2021
The independent student publication of The Unversity at Buffalo, since 1950

Please don’t post your vaccination card on social media

Posting pictures of vaccination cards on social media has paved the way for scammers to sell personal information and make fake vaccine cards

Over the course of the pandemic, droves of COVID-19 denialists have found every reason to break the rules. From anti-mask protests to vaccine skepticism, rallying Americans to comply with COVID-19 guidelines has not been easy.

But even as more than 100 million Americans have been vaccinated, they have found another way to rebel.

And we’ve inadvertently helped them.

According to a Jan. 29 news release from the Better Business Bureau. Posting photos of your COVID-19 vaccination cards can lead to scammers stealing your personal information, and an increase in counterfeit vaccination cards being distributed.

Vaccine cards list your full name, birthday, type of vaccine you received and the location where you received the vaccine. The BBB says lax social media privacy settings have caused an uptick in vaccination card-related scams.

“Unfortunately, your card has your full name and birthday on it, as well as information about where you got your vaccine,” the report said. “If your social media privacy settings aren’t set high, you may be giving valuable information away for anyone to use.” 

Scammers can use this information to open up credit cards, hack accounts or even file fax tax returns in your name and posting pictures of your card voluntarily makes it incredibly easy.

Scammers can also use photos of real vaccine cards to photoshop fake ones, and they are growing in popularity.

A study by Check Point Research found that forged vaccine card sales have surged by over 300% since January, being sold online for as much as $250.

Fake vaccine cards are dangerous and deceitful. 

Hundreds of thousands of Americans have died from COVID-19. Getting vaccinated can put an end to the tragedy. Purchasing fraudulent vaccine cards puts the most vulnerable at risk and is detrimental to our health and safety. 

I was relieved and excited when I got the vaccine because I knew I was protecting myself and my loved ones, but posting a picture of my card would have left my information vulnerable and helped scammers create counterfeit copies. 

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So I posted a picture of my “I got my COVID-19 vaccine” sticker instead. 

Dan Eastman is the assistant managing editor and can be reached at danielson.eastman@ubspectrum.com

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