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State health department: Scammers targeting California's vaccine incentive programs

Medical assistant Adriana Castaneda draws the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at Ravenswood Family Health Center in East Palo Alto on Jan. 30, 2021. The state Department of Health is advising the public to be aware of potential scammers trying to take advantage of California's recently announced vaccination incentive programs. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

The state Department of Health is asking Californians to be on the lookout for -- and to report -- any incidents of potential fraud involving scammers trying to take advantage of the state's recently announced COVID-19 vaccination incentive programs.

State officials said the public notified them of scammers impersonating state officials shortly after Friday's announcement of the first cash prize drawing of the Vax for the Win program, which is intended to motivate people to get vaccinated before the state's reopening June 15.

People reported that scammers impersonating state officials contacted them by telephone, email, text messages and through social media, asking for fees and bank information.

State officials urge people who have been approached by such scams to please email [email protected] or call the Vax for the Win incentives hotline at 1-833-993-3873.

Below are facts about the program and how to recognize legitimate contacts from fraudulent ones:

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-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 is protected. Only the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) knows the identity of the person associated with the random number drawn.

-Winners will be notified by CDPH officials through an official "State of CA CDPH" caller and text ID, a CDPH email address, or in person by CDPH 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.

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-CDPH 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.

For reliable information and details of the Vax for the Win program, please visit covid19.ca.gov/vax-for-the-win.

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State health department: Scammers targeting California's vaccine incentive programs

by / Mountain View Voice

Uploaded: Tue, Jun 8, 2021, 1:06 pm

The state Department of Health is asking Californians to be on the lookout for -- and to report -- any incidents of potential fraud involving scammers trying to take advantage of the state's recently announced COVID-19 vaccination incentive programs.

State officials said the public notified them of scammers impersonating state officials shortly after Friday's announcement of the first cash prize drawing of the Vax for the Win program, which is intended to motivate people to get vaccinated before the state's reopening June 15.

People reported that scammers impersonating state officials contacted them by telephone, email, text messages and through social media, asking for fees and bank information.

State officials urge people who have been approached by such scams to please email [email protected] or call the Vax for the Win incentives hotline at 1-833-993-3873.

Below are facts about the program and how to recognize legitimate contacts from fraudulent ones:

-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 is protected. Only the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) knows the identity of the person associated with the random number drawn.

-Winners will be notified by CDPH officials through an official "State of CA CDPH" caller and text ID, a CDPH email address, or in person by CDPH 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.

-CDPH 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.

For reliable information and details of the Vax for the Win program, please visit covid19.ca.gov/vax-for-the-win.

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