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BBB warns if vaccine passports roll out so will scams

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has started warning people about the potential for vaccine passport-related scams.

In a news release, BBB said, "vaccine passports – digital records of an individual’s COVID-19 vaccination status – are on their way. This is likely to be a QR code on your phone, which you scan to enter a flight or event. As with any major new initiative, scammers always find ways to take advantage of the confusion and anxiety surrounding the change."

According to the BBB, vaccine passport apps are already in use some places.

"...On certain flights to Hawaii, passengers can use an app to show they meet Hawaii’s negative COVID-19 test requirement. New York State launched Excelsior Pass, an app that pulls from the state's COVID-19 vaccine registry to confirm vaccination status. Internationally, Israel has rolled out an app to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19," BBB said.

So how do you avoid scams attempting to exploit the use of the new passports? Here are a few tips from the BBB:

Be aware that emails, calls, text messages that claim the government is requiring such a passport are likely scams. Currently, the U.S. federal government has no plans to create a national vaccine passport.

Check with a flight or event company directly about any potential need for proof of a negative COVID-19 test or vaccine before sending out your information.

Do not give out your social security number Medicare ID number, health plan information, or banking information to anyone you don’t know or trust. Don't post your vaccine card on social media

If you’ve spotted a scam (whether or not you’ve lost money), you can report it to BBB.org/ScamTracker

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Alexis Berdine

Alexis Berdine is an Investigative Multi-Media Journalist at KVOA.

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