It was inevitable that there’d be a black market for COVID vaccination cards, which has prompted warnings from federal authorities.
It might be tempting to print out and fill in a blank vaccination card you bought online -- or on the street.
Just be warned: You’re not just putting others at risk. You’re also facing possible federal charges if you’re caught with a forged card, the FBI says.
"If you did not receive the vaccine, do not buy fake vaccine cards, do not make your own vaccine cards, and do not fill-in blank vaccination record cards with false information," the bureau warns.
"By misrepresenting yourself as vaccinated when entering schools, mass transit, workplaces, gyms, or places of worship, you put yourself and others around you at risk of contracting COVID-19," the FBI adds.
A total of 45 state attorneys general already have sent a joint letter to the CEOs of Twitter, Shopify, and eBay warning that their platforms have been used to market and sell blank or complete COVID-19 vaccine cards -- including the Center for Diseases Control logo.
However, the unauthorized use of an official government agency's seal -- such as HHS or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) -- is a federal crime (under Title 18 United States Code, Section 1017, to be specific).
With health care information selling for more than the usual personal ID info on the dark web, fraudsters have collected hundreds of dollars a pop for phony immunization cards.
It’s not the only scam that has grown amid the rapid spread of coronavirus vaccinations.
Oversharing on social media has helped thieves steal personal health information from citizens’ vaccination cards, as well, the FBI warns.
If you’re so excited about getting the vaccine that you want to share it, there are plenty of options. The one thing you SHOULDN’T do is help a thief victimize you by posting a photo of the card itself, federal authorities say.
Besides your date of birth, the card includes your patient number, insurance information and location where you received the vaccine – all valuable material to ID thieves.
Federal authorities are also warning citizens about scam callers who collect personal info by claiming they’re conducting a survey for one of the three pharmaceutical companies producing the shots.
Make no mistake: No one is calling, texting or messaging from or on behalf of one of the vaccine providers, the FBI said.
Use common sense, federal authorities say: Take a picture of your card and keep it on your phone – and DON’T under any circumstances post it online.
If someone does call or text seeking information, don’t respond.
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