HONOLULU (KHON2) – Hawaii residents seeking an interisland travel exemption will have to upload their COVID-19 vaccination card, among other documents. That has some officials warning consumers about imposters looking to make a quick buck off travelers long awaited vacations.
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“There is some concern that scammers will take advantage of the situation, reach out to consumers and try to extract their personal information for identity theft,” said Roseann Freitas, the Better Business Bureau Hawaii Marketplace Manager.
The state is reassuring travelers that their information will be safe.
“Individuals health information will not be shared,” said Maj. Gen. Kenneth Hara, State Adjutant General. “The only information used to validate your vaccination is your name, date of birth, date of vaccination, the vaccination type, lot numbers and the location you were vaccinated at. This is the same information that is on your CDC card.”
Scammers have proven their ability to create fake and identical government websites throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It will be so easy for someone to misdirect you or redirect you to a phony website that looks exactly like the state’s. So don’t click on a link and go upload anything. Go directly to the state’s browser and make sure you’re on the state’s website when you upload it,” said Freitas.
The BBB suggests hoovering over links to see the website’s true web address and make sure the URL begins with https.
Remember, this is a state travel program. If anyone reaches out and claims they’re from the federal government, that’s a red flag.
“If they ask you for your government ID number, your driver’s license or your Medicare number, you do not need to give that information to them. You want to keep that very protected,” Freitas said.
The Hawaii Safe Travels digital platform will go live on May 7. The program begins on May 11.