Illinois Attorney General warns against COVID vaccine card scams

Vaccine cards

Vaccine cards (Credit: AP)

ST. LOUIS — There is a new call from the Illinois Attorney General’s office not to let the joy over the availability of vaccines for COVID-19 cloud your judgment when it comes to falling victim to scammers.

“People are understandably excited about the vaccine and the hope it offers, but they should refrain from posting pictures of their vaccine cards on social media, as thieves can use the information on the cards to access and steal additional personal information,” Kwame Raoul said.

“With that piece of information, you actually can go into the dark web, social media and get the other pieces you need, including your social security number,” Bill Kresse, assistant professor of accounting at Governors State University told WGN-TV. “You’re handing over, potentially, to identity thieves one of the access numbers on your tumbler lock that can access your identity.”

If an identity thief was able to steal your information before you received a second vaccine dose, they could, in theory, try to get you to reveal more information that could put your identity at further risk.

Authorities are also investigating reports of fake vaccine cards circulating online for sale.

“In the 1970s, Illinois driver licenses were a cardboard card and the only safety feature was that the typewriter ribbon was a blue ink ribbon,” Kresse said, “which was also commercially available. We don’t want people duplicating phony cards, traveling, getting access to theaters, arenas or airplanes when they shouldn’t be there.”

To report a suspected scam, call the Attorney General’s Consumer Fraud Hotline at 1-800-386-5438 (Chicago), 1-800-243-0618 (Springfield), or 1-800-243-0607 (Carbondale). You can also file a complaint online.

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