vaccine lottery

California Warns Residents of COVID-19 Vaccine Lottery Scams

State officials remind the public that lottery winners won’t be asked to pay any money or provide bank information

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It's really the perfect storm for potential scammers. Millions of vaccinated Californians are eligible for the “Vax For The Win” lottery.

On Friday, California’s vaccine lottery produced 15 more random winners.

The next drawing will be for $1.5 million on Tuesday. The winners will get calls in the coming days.

Many Californians are waiting for a random phone call that say they’ve won $50,000 or more than $1 million.

But state officials are now asking people to be on the lookout for potentially fake notifications.

Officials with the California Department of Public Health said on Monday that it’s getting dozens of calls about fake notifications that appear to be from the vaccine lottery. But it’s actually someone trying to steal people's personal information.

For Roman Scanlon of Modesto, it was a message on social media site Facebook.

“It’s one of those messages where you get overly excited," he said.

Scanlon said he received a message that said he won the $50,000 from the “California Governor Gift.” The message also had a link asking for personal information.

"When you're stuck in the excitement, you tend to forget like logic, right?" he added. "Once I calmed down, it wasn't so exciting anymore and I stopped looking for new cars to purchase with the money, I thought I just won. And it was one of those things where you start really thinking about it and you're like, 'wait, this doesn't make sense.'" he said.

The Facebook page even appeared to post official links. But it has since been taken down.

As a reminder, state officials want the public to know the following:

  • There is no process for entry in the "Vax for the Win" program.
  • All vaccinated individuals are automatically entered.
  • Winners can decline the prize and/or remain anonymous.
  • The privacy of winners are protected.
  • Only the California Department of Public Health knows the identity of the person associated with the random number drawn.   
  • Winners will be notified by an official with the California Department of Public Health through an official "State of CA CDPH" caller and text ID, a CDPH email address, or in person by staff.  
  • Winners will not be asked to pay any fees associated with verifying eligibility for the cash prize.
  • Winners will not be asked to provide their bank information. 
  • California Department of Public Health will email winners an official state government form to be awarded their winnings.
  • A check will be mailed to the winner by the state controller's office.

If anyone encounters a possible vaccine lottery scam, they are asked to email the California Department of Public Health at rumors@cdph.ca.gov or call the "Vax for the Win" incentives hotline at 1-833-993-3873.

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