The District of Columbia Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking (DISB) wants DC residents to be aware of several coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination card scams currently being perpetrated on the public.
COVID-19 vaccination cards are a type of identification card issued when persons receive a vaccination. The COVID-19 vaccine and the vaccination cards are provided for free to District residents. The cards should be safeguarded.
Examples of Fraud:
- You post a photo of your vaccination card on social media to celebrate being vaccinated. However, posting your card can put you at serious risk of identity theft. Your vaccination card has valuable personal information on it that potential scammers can use to commit identity theft.
- Online fraudsters are selling forged Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) DC COVID-19 vaccination cards to show that people have been vaccinated. Scammers advertise fake cards on social media sites and on ecommerce sites or blogs. These bogus CDC COVID-19 vaccination cards often require purchasers to pay money up front in addition to providing their name, date of birth and credit card or other financial information. The scammers then use this information to commit identity theft.
- Online fraudsters are selling packs of blank, counterfeit CDC COVID-19 vaccination cards. Purchasers fill in the cards with their information and/or give them to friends or others to do the same. The cards are then used by the holders to gain entrance to events, fitness centers, places of worship, schools, mass transit and other public places that require proof of vaccination.
- Don’t buy a phony vaccine card or try to create your own vaccination cards or fill in blank cards with false information.
- Don’t post photos of your CDC vaccination card on social media because scammers can use your post to obtain personal information including your name, date of birth, patient number and location where you received your vaccine. Once fraudsters have these details, they can steal your identity and disrupt your financial well-being.
- If you already posted a photo of your vaccine card on social media, you should consider removing it and updating your profile picture with a banner or a sticker saying that you got your shot.
The FBI warns that misrepresenting yourself as vaccinated when entering schools, mass transit, workplaces, gyms or places of worship not only puts yourself and others around you at risk of contracting COVID-19, it is also a violation of federal law. The unauthorized use of an official government agency's seal such as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) or the CDC is a crime and may be punishable under Title 18 United States Code, Section 1017, and other applicable laws.
If you believe you have been a victim of a COVID vaccination card scam, please contact the HHS Office of Inspector General at 1-800-HHS-TIPS or oig.hhs.gov; the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center at ic3.gov; or the DISB Enforcement and Consumer Protection Division at (202) 727-8000.