Washington state officials are warning residents to beware of scammers impersonating lottery workers, saying there have been several scams reported since the state rolled out its COVID-19 vaccine lottery.
“We will never ask you for personal information over the phone, or by email, or by text. We’re not going to ask you for your date of birth, your social security number, your phone number, your address, your banking information, your mother’s maiden name, none of that kind of thing."
That’s Kristi Weeks, the director of legal services for the Washington State Lottery. She said most of the lottery information officials need they already have from vaccination records and they’ll just mail your prize, such as a game system or a ticket, to you directly.
The only time lottery workers need additional information is if you win a prize of more than $600. To claim that, a winner will need to download a form from the Washington State Lottery website and return it via mail, or they can visit one of the Washington State Lottery offices in person to fill out and return a form. There are lottery offices in both Spokane and Yakima.
Participants have three days after they are initially contacted to claim their prize. If you are concerned about the authenticity of a call, you can contact the State Lottery at 360-810-2888 or stop by an office in person.
“If you get a call, or an email or a text and your just not sure this is real, we want you to ask questions. We’re perfectly fine with that, that’s one of the reasons people have 72 hours to respond," Weeks said.
Tuesday will be the Washington State Lottery’s second of five COVID-19 vaccination drawings. There will be around 250 individual prizes, including a $250,000 winner. The fifth and final drawing will include a $1 million prize for a vaccinated person.
Anyone who is vaccinated in Washington state and who had their information filed with the state Department of Health is eligible.