Regular readers of Scamicide.com will remember that I have written about the Jamaica lottery scam for more than three years. Jamaica is a hot bed of phony lottery scams, victimizing unwary Americans for more than ten years. It has been estimated that Jamaican scammers operating phony lotteries steal more than three hundred million dollars from Americans annually. Generally they way the scam operates is that the targeted victim is told on the telephone that he or she has won a lottery (that they never entered), but that the victim needs to pay some administrative fees before receiving the huge prize. The victims of this scam pay the fees, which can run into thousands of dollars, but never get the prize. The telephone call generally comes from the 876 area code. Scammers in Jamaica make as many as 30,000 calls each day to the United States telling people that they have won a non-existent lottery. Although Jamaican officials have recently become increasingly aggressive in trying to shut down these scams, it wasn’t until now that the first scammer has been both indicted by an American grand jury and extradited by Jamaican authorities to the United States, where the accused scammer, Damion Bryan Barrett is facing charges of 37 counts of wire fraud.
As always, the best place to look for a helping hand is at the end of your own hand. Here are a couple of important things to remember. You cannot win a lottery or contest that you did not enter and it is illegal for Americans to participate in foreign lotteries in the first place. In addition, if your caller ID shows that you are receiving a call from the Jamaican area code of 876, you should not even answer the call unless you have a friend vacationing in Jamaica. Don’t fall for this scam.