State issues warning against Washington vaccine lottery scammers
Officials are warning Washingtonians to be aware of scammers claiming to be linked to the state’s “Shot of a Lifetime” vaccine lottery.
Washington’s Lottery says that it has received reports about unknown scammers who have attempted to use the contest to trick people into handing out their personal information.
With that in mind, the state Attorney General’s Office issued a reminder on Monday that lottery officials “will never ask for bank account information, personal details, or Social Security numbers over the phone.” If you are a winner, you may be contacted by the state by phone, email, “or as a final method of outreach, text message.” Typically, a phone call from Washington’s Lottery will come from one of two Western Washington area codes: 253 or 564.
Should you have doubts over the legitimacy of any callers claiming to work for Washington’s Lottery, you can contact the department directly at (360) 810-2888 for verification. There are several signs to look out for if you suspect a scam as well, including a call coming from an out-of-state phone number, someone who demands your personal information as a condition for collecting a prize, an email with a link or attachment, or a notification that you’ve won a “Shot of a Lifetime” prize despite not having been fully vaccinated.
The state is set to draw the second of four winners for a $250,000 cash prize on Tuesday, and then two more winners in each of the next two weeks. The contest will wrap up with an additional final drawing on July 13 for a $1 million prize. The state’s vaccine lottery also includes hundreds of other non-cash prizes, such as airline and sports tickets, gift cards, game systems, smart speakers, higher education tuition and expense assistance, and gift cards.
Washingtonians who are vaccinated against COVID-19 don’t need to do anything to be entered to win any of the available prizes. The lottery will automatically gather names from the Washington State Department of Health’s statewide immunization database.