COLORADO SPRINGS — As vaccinations start to become accessible to more people in our communities it's going to be tempting to post that selfie on social media with your vaccine card, after getting the shot. Fraud experts say the crooks are hoping you will. It's why you should think twice about that post.
People are eager to share good news on social media, but personal information on that vaccine card can help scammers who are actively building a file on you.
You've probably seen people try to cover information with their thumb, or to black it out before they post the photo, but just your name, vaccine type and location can give the scammers enough information to seem legitimate when they reach out to you or other family members over the phone, or through an email.
"The scammer will actually grab your information and they'll take that to a level 2. That means they'll actually follow up with either a phone call or an email and will include pieces of what was on that card," CSU Global's "Dr. Fraud" J. Michael Skiba told News5. "So, they're going to maybe know you had the Pfizer vaccine, so they are going to represent themselves as a Pfizer representative, or somewhere in the email it'll say something specific about your vaccine. What that's going to do is it's going to create that false sense of security."
In some cases, they are stealing all the information, helping them to commit identity theft and even make counterfeit vaccine cards. These fake cards are helping people who aren't vaccinated to pose as you to gain access as a vaccinated person. Fraud experts are already seeing counterfeit vaccination cards being sold online and overseas.
"What the fraudsters are doing is they are putting a full-court press on this area because this is what's hot on people's minds," said Skiba. "They might grab that information on that card and create a complete duplicate card which believe it or not there is a black market for that because that card in certain areas even internationally we're seeing this, will help someone gain access. We're seeing these duplicate cards pop up on sites for $5."
We want to remind you there's nothing wrong with posting on social media about getting a vaccination, but the experts say it's safest to post a picture with one of the stickers instead.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, fraudsters have been increasing their activity across the country. Consumer experts believe there are at least 60 to 70% more attacks happening now.
These crooks love to troll social media for information about us. No matter what you're sharing on social media, now is a good time to spend a few minutes to make sure you know who is seeing your posts and that your privacy settings are where you want them. These settings can change on you without you knowing, so it's not a bad idea to check them regularly.