Have you ever received a collections call about a credit card that you have never used? Have you received a court order for an unpaid loan for a car that you have never driven? Or, has your bank contacted you about purchases you did not make?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then chances are you have been a victim of identity theft. And, if you have, you might wonder how it happened. Those who are posting TMI (too much information) online should not be surprised when it happens.
A recent phenomenon that follows years of social media addiction is the posting of Covid-19 vaccine cards on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. According to the Better Business Bureau and the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), posting images of vaccine cards online is an invitation for ID theft crime.
The vaccine cards contain information that by itself, may not provide a complete data file. However, your full name, date of birth, can be combined with your current and former home addresses, family member names, current and prior employers, and your school and college—all readily available in an internet search—to create a full data file.
The vaccine card is not a badge of honor; it is personal health data that falls under the United States HIPAA laws and should be treated as confidential. Don’t give away your data (no regales a los estafadores tus datos)!
What have you seen family or friends reveal on the Internet and how do you discourage this behavior? Let’s share ideas!