More than 3 million North Carolinians are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19. This is a remarkable step forward in our fight against the pandemic, and soon we can begin safely returning to our lives.

But scammers have used the pandemic as an excuse to take advantage of people for the past year, and they’re still at it. The next fight against COVID-19 vaccine scams is stopping the spread and use of false vaccine cards.

When you get your dose, or doses, of the COVID-19 vaccine, you’re given a vaccination card that includes your personal information, the manufacturer of the vaccine you received, and additional details about the vaccine you received. These cards are currently the best way to track your vaccination progress.

When you get your vaccination card, don’t share pictures of it on social media. Scammers can get your personal details and compromise your identity, and they can also use it to create fake duplicates.

Recently, people have been selling fake vaccine cards online. These fake cards are illegal, and they’re also incredibly dangerous to the work we’ve been doing to fight this pandemic for more than a year. If people rely on fraudulent vaccine cards instead of getting the vaccine, they can’t protect themselves or their loved ones from the virus. And the longer the virus can spread and infect people who haven’t been vaccinated, the longer this pandemic continues and the greater the public health risk to us all.

If you want a vaccine card, you can get a legitimate one for free by signing up to get the vaccine. In North Carolina, everyone 16 and older is eligible to sign up to get their shot, and you can learn more at YourSpotYourShot.nc.gov or call 1-888-675-4567 to schedule your vaccine appointment.

These vaccines are safe, tested and effective. You don’t need to have photo ID or health insurance, and you don’t need to share your bank account, Social Security or credit card numbers to get one. Please don’t pay for fake vaccine cards – it’s unlawful and it puts people’s health at risk. The faster we all get our shots, the faster we can hug our loved ones, travel and return fully to our lives.

If you or a loved one has questions about a possible scam or fear you’ve been victimized, contact our office’s Consumer Protection Division at ncdoj.gov/complaint or 1-877-5-NO-SCAM.

Josh Stein serves as North Carolina attorney general.

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