The Better Business Bureau of Chicago and Northern Illinois warned residents of new scams as the first “All In for the Win” Vaccine Lottery drawing takes place this week.
“Other states that have rolled out vaccination lotteries have reported multiple scam attempts, and fraudsters will be ready to take advantage in Illinois as well,” President and CEO of BBB of Chicago and Northern Illinois, Steve Bernas, said in a statement.
The random drawings will give out $10 million in prize money to vaccinated residents. The first random drawing will select one $1 million prize winner and three $150,000 student scholarships.
“Scammers follow the news and look for opportunities to take advantage of peoples emotions. With the announcement of Illinois first selection of $1 Million dollars, and no official entry process, we know reports of fraud attempts will be coming in the aftermath,” said Bernas.
Scammers typically carry this out with a method called spoofing, the BBB said. The practice is used when someone makes a call using a phone number they can clone and conceal their identity. They can also try contacting through social media posts, text and email.
Tips from the BBB to prevent getting scammed:
- Never provide personal financial information to someone who contacts you.
- Don’t give out the information on your vaccine cards, as hackers can use that information to access accounts
- No one is required to pay money to enter the lottery. Vaccinated residents are automatically entered.
- Law enforcement officials or other government agencies do not call and offer or award prices
- Do not trust caller ID, as scammers can manipulate the phone system, making a call appear to be from a government agency
- Remember there is only 1 winner per week, and that winner will be widely publicized.
- Always check with the State of Illinois and get the return number of the person before you give any information. Remember the State already has all your information and has no fee to collect winnings.