The Better Business Bureau is asking B.C. residents to avoid sharing photos of their COVID-19 vaccine card on social media.
The bureau says once residents receive vaccine, they can ask for a physical copy of their official record to keep with them.
While the full vaccination record is to be stored on an online provincial database, the vaccine card will have details including the person’s name and date of birth, as well as the manufacturer and batch number of the COVID-19 vaccine, and the date on which the vaccination was received, BBB said in a release issued Monday (Feb. 1).
“Better Business Bureau serving Mainland BC (BBB) is encouraging the public to avoid sharing photos of their vaccination card on social media. The data may seem harmless, but the self-identifying information on the card not only makes you vulnerable to identity theft, but can also help scammers create phony version (of the card),” the release notes.
The release says that, recently, scammers were caught selling fake vaccination cards in Europe, on eBay and TikTok, while falsely claiming that part of the proceeds were being used to support charities.
The BBB said it has not yet received any local reports of this type of fraud, but warns “it is only a matter of time before similar cons come to Canada.”
“In the excitement to share the good news about being vaccinated and encourage others to do the same, we must still keep in mind that not everyone on social media is trustworthy,” said BBB manager of public relations Karla Laird said in the release.
“If your social media privacy settings are not set high, you may be giving valuable information away for anyone to use. Scammers and fraudsters are quick to see opportunities where they can turn innocent information-sharing into schemes that take advantage of others.”
Additionally, BBB warns residents to be wary of answering popular social media prompts, such as listing favourite songs or TV shows.
“Some of these ‘favourite things’ are commonly used passwords or security questions for your most valuable online accounts,” BBB noted in the release.