coronavirus vaccine

AG Calls on Companies to Prevent Sales of Fake COVID Vaccine Cards

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Warnings have been issued about posting photos of your COVID-19 vaccine card on social media and the attorney general is now calling on several online companies to prevent people from selling fraudulent CDC vaccination cards on their platforms.

Attorney General William Tong on Monday said he joined a group of 45 attorneys general to raise concerns about the public health risks of these fake cards in a letter to the CEOs of Twitter, eBay and Shopify.

If you receive a vaccination, you might want to think twice before sharing the news online. Jake Milstein of CI Security explains why you shouldn't share your COVID-19 vaccine card on social media.

“Getting vaccinated is one of the most important things you can do to protect yourself and your family from COVID-19, but it’s also an open door for scammers,” Tong said in a statement. “We need big companies like Twitter, eBay, and Shopify to take immediate action to stop the sale of fraudulent vaccination cards. These cards pose a threat to the health and safety of people in Connecticut and unchecked could extend the length and severity of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

When you get a vaccine, the provider will give you a legitimate vaccination card.

But, Tong warned, people who buy fake cards can have their own information added to the card or add it in themselves, so it appears they have been vaccinated when they have not.

The attorneys general are asking the CEOs to monitor their platforms for ads or links selling blank or fraudulently-completed vaccination cards, take down ads or links that are selling cards and preserve records and information about the ads and the people who were selling them.

“We are deeply concerned about this use of your platforms to spread false and misleading information regarding COVID vaccines. The false and deceptive marketing and sales of fake COVID vaccine cards threatens the health of our communities, slows progress in getting our residents protected from the virus, and are a violation of the laws of many states. Multiple states’ laws provide for injunctive relief, damages, penalties, and other remedies for such conduct,” the letter says.

The FBI is also issuing a warning about buying fake cards and of posting photos of your card on social media.

Read the FBI warning here.

The Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection has not heard of any issues in Connecticut but warns people not to post information.

"You have a lot of personal, identifiable information on your vaccine card, you’ve got your name, your date of birth," Arunan Arulampalam, the deputy commissioner of the state Department of Consumer Protection said.

Instead of posting the vaccine card, local officials recommended posting a photo of your sticker, your arm or a selfie at the site where you received your vaccine.

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