With the Coronavirus pandemic still a major threat and vaccines presently in short supply, many people who are able to get vaccinated are posting  photos of their vaccination cards on social media such as Facebook.  The question then arises as to whether or not this puts you in a substantial risk of identity theft.  The answer is that while it may seem like an innocuous thing to post, it does put you in increased danger of identity theft.  Identity theft is  serious crime and it can cause you to lose money and dramatically complicate your life.  The most important piece of information about yourself that you should keep as private as possible to help protect you from identity theft is your Social Security number, however, identity thieves harvest personal information such as your name, address, birth date and other information from both legal and illegal sources such as data breaches to gain the information they need to make you a victim of identity theft and it behooves all of us not to make their job even easier by making such information readily available.  Think about how many times you may have authenticated yourself over the phone when dealing with your bank or credit card company by merely providing them with your birth date.

TIPS

If you want to excitedly share with the world the news that you have been vaccinated against the Coronavirus, the best thing you can do is to post a selfie of the sticker they give you that indicates you have been vaccinated rather than the card which contains your name and your birth date.  And while I may be a bit paranoid, it is important to remember that even paranoids have enemies.  Even posting on social media the sticker that shows that you have been vaccinated against the Coronavirus is a public notification to scammers that you have indeed been vaccinated and provides them with an opportunity to contact you by phone, email or text message posing as medical officials to inform you of such things as new side effects, a change in the date for your second shot or other issues related to your vaccination which you may wrongfully decide is trusworthy and end up clicking on links and downloading malware or providing further personal information such as your Social Security number to an identity thief.  So perhaps the best course of action is to get your shot and keep it to yourself.

Oh, and by the way, how many of you already have your birth date posted on Facebook each year?

For those of you receiving the Scam of the day through an email, I just want to remind you that if you want to see the ever increasing list of Coronavirus scams go to the first page of the http://www.scamicide.com website and click on the tab at the top of the page that indicates “Coronavirus Scams.”  Scamicide has been cited by the New York Times as one of three top sources for information about Coronavirus related scams.

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