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Deep Dive: Expect scams during Colorado's million-dollar drawings for vaccinated adults

Colorado Attorney General: "Be nervous"
Expect scams during Colorado's million dollar drawings for vaccinated adults
Posted at 4:49 AM, Jun 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-07 10:24:26-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — Starting this week the State of Colorado will have the first of five one-million-dollar cash drawings for people in the state who got vaccinated. State officials are working to clear up any confusion about what's going on and News5 wants to help you avoid any scams related to this.

Colorado will use vaccination marketing dollars from the federal government to give out these massive cash prizes, but doing something like this for the first time in state history is coming with some questions and the potential for scams.

So let's start by hitting on some key aspects of this drawing:

Who is eligible? Anyone age 18 and older who got at least one covid-19 vaccine shot.

What are the odds of winning? Governor Polis estimated about 1 in 500,000 based on the weekly drawing and the number of people who have received at least one dose.

Can you still become eligible? Yes, as long as the state has confirmed your vaccination by midnight the night before the drawing you are eligible.

When are the drawings? June 4, June 11, June 18, June 25, July 7. If someone calls you saying you won and it's not on one of these dates there is a good chance it's a scam. So keep these dates in mind.

"Be nervous and ask the person on the other end of the line, I want to make sure you are who you say you are, can I have a number to call you back at? Then, look at the website and see if that number they are giving you is the actual number of the organization. A lot of times it won't be," said Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser during an interview with News5. "You can make sure you are talking to the official person with the Colorado Department of Public Health."

With these five drawings, Colorado joins states like Ohio, Maryland, New York, and Oregon in offering some type of a drawing or lottery for vaccinated people. The goal is to generate more incentive and interest in getting vaccinated as interest has started to drop off nationwide.

Some important notes for winners:

You will *not* be able to remain anonymous. In order to receive the prize, the winner must agree to the release of their identity to the public, but other personal information remains protected in state database.

If a winner declines the prize, a new winner will be drawn.

State and federal taxes must also be paid on the prize.

According to officials if you are selected as a winner in one of the five drawings you will be contacted by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, but Colorado's attorney general says you should be suspicious of anyone who calls you to tell you that you've won and if you believe you've been targeted by a scam, he wants to know about it.

"We want you to go into investigator mode. Who is the name of the person? What number came on your caller ID? What number did they give you? What other information did they give you?," said Weiser. "The more information you can get about a scammer and then share it with the more likely it is we can go after that scammer and hold them accountable."

There is no need to register for the Colorado Comeback Cash drawing, so nobody should be calling you to do that. However, you may want to check through the state's website to make sure your immunization records have been properly submitted by your vaccination site.

Some people are finding they were vaccinated, but the state does not have that information on record.

Check through the state's website here.

If your information is missing you can call the site where you were vaccinated to make sure your information gets sent to the state as soon as possible.

For those who are vaccinated that are ages 12-17 the state is working on a scholarship contest for that age group.

For more information and to have your questions about the Colorado Comeback Cash drawing click here.