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‘Get Well Wisconsin’ program COVID-19 text message not a scam

DHS get 100
DHS get 100(WBAY)
Published: Sep. 13, 2021 at 4:18 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 13, 2021 at 6:15 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Wisconsin saw “shots in the arm” to fight COVID-19 increase for the 7th time in 8 weeks. Now the state can say 2 out of 3 adults have rolled up their sleeves for protection against COVID-19.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) reports 66.7% of Wisconsin’s adult population received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 63% of the adults completed their vaccine series.

Those receiving their first dose now until next Sunday, September 19 is eligible for a $100 reward card from the state.

It’s an effort to get more people vaccinated. However, it gives scammers another opportunity to take advantage of people too.

“It is never shocking. we know that scammers watch the news,” said Susan Bach, Northeast Wisconsin Regional Director for the Better Business Bureau. “They see what’s happening on the news and if there’s any kind of confusion, they try and capitalize on that and figure out how they can trick people into revealing personal information or payment information so that they can make money.”

Bach said scammers have been changing their tactics and scams throughout the entire pandemic.

“In the middle of the pandemic, it was scams related to how to get the vaccine. But now, probably for the past month, we’ve been receiving scams about stimulus packages or incentives to receive the vaccine so these covid scams have really evolved for the last 18 months,” said Bach.

She said the scammers are usually pretending to be a government agency like the IRS or Biden Administration.

“Well, they (the scammers) say that you’re eligible to receive, like a $1,400 stimulus check or something if you receive the vaccine. So, they want you to reach out and call them and the scam kind of goes on from there,” said Bach. “They will ask for personal information, maybe a bank account number to directly deposit that information so those are all scams and people need to be very careful because there’s a lot of them out there.”

Some WBAY viewers reached out to us about a recent text message. They say they received a message from a number claiming they are with Governor Tony Evers’ office, and they have an appointment for them to get their vaccine and $100 reward card.

“We haven’t seen any specific scam tracker reports mentioning Governor Evers or the $100 gift card,” said Bach.

There’s a good reason why Bach hasn’t heard about it. According to Wisconsin’s Division of Consumer Protection, it’s likely a legitimate text message.

As previously reported in an Action 2 News Consumer First Alert, the DHS is working with a partner organization, Organizing Empowerment Fund, that is “executing their Get Well Wisconsin program. Get Well Wisconsin includes a texting element to promote the COVID-19 vaccine and related programs, such as the $100 COVID-19 Vaccine Reward Program.”

If you receive a text message like the one below, with reference to the ‘Get Well Wisconsin Program’ it is not a scam. It’s an effort to help people get access to good information about the vaccine.

Here are the texts being sent out trying to help connect people interested in getting vaccinated with a local appointment:

Hi {{person}},

I’m {{sender’s name}}, a volunteer with Get Well WI. Gov. Evers announced that everyone in WI age 12+ gets $100 for getting their 1st COVID vaccine from now to Sept. 19. We have one for you Wednesday Sep. 29 at St. Mary Church, 200 S. Peters Ave, Fond du Lac. Are you interested? (Reply stop to opt-out)

“You need to make sure that if you are trying to get this incentive from Governor Evers, that you are on the correct website so that correct website is www.100.wisconsin.gov. They’re not going to ask you for any information that is not required for them to send you that gift card or to verify that you’ve received that vaccination,” said Bach.

On the DHS website, it has a step-by-step explanation of how to apply for the $100 incentive. You must fill out the ‘vaccine recipient information’ and the ‘tell us about your vaccination.’

On the website it says, “In order to be eligible, Wisconsin residents ages 12 and older must receive their first dose at a vaccination site in Wisconsin, Michigan, or Minnesota between August 20, 2021, and September 19, 2021. Reward requests must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. CST on September 30, 2021. Please allow six to eight weeks to receive your U.S. Bank Rewards Card in the mail.”

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