JNJ-78436735 during Phase 3 trials. JNJ-78436735 is Janssen Pharmaceuticals Companies of Johnson & Johnson's vaccine. It is a one-dose vaccine for individuals 18 and over, with full protection 28 days after vaccination. The vaccine has been shown to be effective at preventing severe COVID-19 illness, hospitalization, and death. (Photo courtesy of Janssen Pharmaceuticals)

The state Department of Public Health is asking Californians to be on the lookout — 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 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