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CHICAGO (WGN) – First, you pick up the appointment, then you receive the vaccine. But could your vaccine card be another opportunity for fraud?
Bill Kresse, assistant professor of accounting at Governors State University, says sharing your COVID-19 vaccination card online and through social media could become breeding ground for fraud.
Bad guys steal information from social media. And worse, experts say, there is no reliable place to report it.
“This card is worthless because it’s so easy to forge,” said Kresse, known as “Professor Fraud”.
Each vaccination record bears your name and date of birth. Kresse said it’s a great starting point for criminals trying to steal your identity.
“With that information, you can actually access the dark web, social media, and get the other stuff you need, including your social security number,” he said. “You potentially hand over to identity thieves one of the access numbers on your drum lock that can gain access to your identity.”
Then, Kresse says, once the bad guys see on social media that you got your first hit, they may try to trip you up before you get your second. How? ‘Or’ What? Scammers phish their next victim by pretending to be someone who either postpones or confirms your second shot.
“We would need your Social Security number to confirm your next appointment, and now you’ve handed them your Social Security number,” Kresse explained.
He cautioned against providing such information.
Finally, Kresse said that the white black ink cards are nothing more than a sticker with your name and birthday on it. The cards are easily replaceable, which means that anyone can find a sample card on the internet, print it out and fill it out themselves.
The fake cards could help those looking to avoid 14-day quarantines after their trip.
“Guess what? I don’t have to do the 14-day quarantine. I have the card,” Kresse said. “But you don’t have the vaccination.”
Kresse said even the military did not quickly accept the vaccination card because it lacked numbers, codes and identifiers that are unique to you. It also lacks an embossed seal unique to the state or federal government.
For vaccination cards, no signature is required.
Additionally, vaccine information is not verified against data stored by any hospital, doctor’s office, pharmacy, or agency. Kresse said this oversimplified verification was not enough.
“In the 1970s, Illinois driver’s licenses were a cardboard card and the only security feature was that the typewriter ribbon was blue ink ribbon,” he said, “ which was also commercially available. We don’t want people to duplicate fake maps, travel, have access to theaters, arenas or airplanes when they shouldn’t be. “
Because this is all so new, Kresse said, there’s no sure way to go after the bad guys. It is only when someone fraudulently uses a vaccine card to board a plane or enter a place that fraudsters could be accused of trespassing for not being allowed to be there.
“It’s like going to a concert without a ticket,” Kresse said.
Kresse said he feared this was just the beginning. False results from test kits and black market vaccines could become a problem. According to Kresse, nothing is out of place when it comes to shooting one on the audience especially during a seizure.
Anyone seeking to report that their vaccine card has been fraudulently used should file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission and the Illinois Attorney General’s office. Either agency can start reviewing complaints, but neither agency has started.
“I think the good people at the CDC are doing a hell of a job,” he said. “But their job is not to think like a fraudster.”
Vaccine cards are designed to remind recipients what vaccine they received and when they received it. This information is also a reminder of when to get the second dose, if any.
While the two-dose Pfizer vaccine requires three weeks between injections, the two-dose Moderna vaccine requires four weeks. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine requires only one dose.
The CDC says there is no national organization, including the CDC itself, that maintains vaccination records.
If you lose your immunization card or want any of your immunization records, the CDC recommends that you contact the facility that administered the vaccine or your local or national immunization information program.
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