Eye on Scams: Vaccine Passports are on the way, scams sure to follow

Eye on Scams

LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — Vaccine passports or digital records of an individual’s COVID-19 vaccination status are on their way.

Vaccine passports are likely to be a QR code on your phone which you can scan to enter a flight or event.

As with any major initiative, scammers always find ways to take advantage of the confusion and anxiety surrounding the change.

Chris Babin, with the Better Business Bureau of Acadiana, said, “With the vaccine rollout and many people being vaccinated, certain entities and organizations are requiring people to be vaccinated whether it’s an airline or anything that comes up so naturally there needs to be a way for people to be able to prove and show that they’ve been vaccinated and what we know is there’s digital wallets or digital passports that are being created or being worked on that maybe haven’t been released yet that are going to allow people to show quickly on their cellphones that they have in fact been vaccinated.”

Con artists are sure to take advantage of these COVID-19 vaccine passport applications rolling out soon.

“You’re going to have to download the app, log in and give it sensitive personal information in order for it to pull your health records to find out whether or not you have in fact been vaccinated so we know that most likely scammers are going to create lookalike websites, lookalike applications that are going to ask for certain information and if you’re not careful, you could be giving that sensitive information to a scammer,” added Babin.

The companies developing the passport apps hope the technology will allow industries, such as travel and events to return to normal.

“You’re going to have to download the app, log in, and give it sensitive personal information in order for it to pull your health records to find out whether or not you have in fact been vaccinated so we know that most likely scammers are going to create lookalike websites, lookalike applications that are going to ask for certain information, and if you’re not careful, you could be giving that sensitive information to a scammer,” explained Babin.

Here are some tips from the Better Business Bureau on how to avoid vaccine passport cons:

  • Be skeptical of any vaccine passport app that claims to be from the U.S. Federal Government. Right now, the U.S. Federal Government has no plans to create a national vaccine passport.
  • Check with the company directly if you’re flying or attending an event. You may need to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test or vaccine to do so. 
  • Don’t buy fraudulent vaccine cards. Don’t undermine the vaccine efforts by buying a black-market vaccine card.
  • Research carefully if you download a COVID-19 vaccine passport app.

If you have a scam you’d like me to investigate, feel free to send me an email at smasters@klfy.com.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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