Businesses across the United States are increasingly leaning into the vaccination effort, offering a range of freebies and incentives to customers who show proof of getting a COVID-19 shot.
Security experts note, however, that the information on vaccine record cards—currently the only proof of vaccination—contains sensitive information that bad actors could exploit; they urge people to be mindful when flashing the cards—and definitely not share photos of them on social media.
Looking to help the vaccination rollout build more steam, many companies—including Amtrak, Dollar General, Instacart, McDonald’s, and Target—have offered incentives to their employees to get the vaccine, including paid leave, footing the bill for rides to and from administration sites, and cash payments.
Some businesses are now taking that a step further and starting to offer their customers vaccine perks.
Generally, to qualify for the perks—like Krispy Kreme's free donut—people need to show their vaccination cards, which include their name and date of birth and are currently the only proof anyone has that they've been vaccinated.
"The self-identifying information on it makes you vulnerable to identity theft and can help scammers create phony versions," the BBB said.
Sandra Guile of the International Association of Better Business Bureaus told "Good Morning America" recently that "some unsavory individuals out there" will use the information on vaccine cards and will "try to open up credit cards, buy cellphones, go shopping."
"This is why on the black market and on the dark web, health care records sell for more than identity records," Milstein told the outlet.