So you finally got a Covid-19 vaccine. Relieved, you take a photograph of your vaccination card, showing your name and birth date and which vaccine you had, and publish it on social media.
But some experts are warning that the information on the celebratory photo might make you vulnerable to identity theft or scams.
“Unfortunately, your card has your full name and birthday on it, as well as information about where you got your vaccine,” the Better Business Bureau said last week. “If your social media privacy settings aren’t set high, you may be giving valuable information away for anyone to use.”
On Friday, the Federal Trade Commission followed suit: “You’re posting a photo of your vaccination card on social media. Please — don’t do that!” it warned bluntly. “You could be inviting identity theft.”
Scammers can sometimes figure out most digits of your Social Security number by knowing your date and place of birth, and can open new accounts in your name, claim your tax refund for themselves, and engage in other identity theft, said Maneesha Mithal, associate director of the Federal Trade Commission’s Division of Privacy and Identity Protection.
“Identity theft is like a puzzle, made up of pieces of personal information,” Ms. Mithal said. “You don’t want to hand over to identity thieves the pieces they need to complete the picture. One of those pieces is your date of birth.”