Let’s start right off by letting you know that regardless of who you are, 876 is not your lucky number. The number 876 is the area code for Jamaica which has turned into an international hub for scams, most notably the infamous Jamaican lottery scam, about which I have written many times. You can read my “Scams of the day” involving the Jamaican lottery scam by going to the Scamicide archives at the top of the page and putting in the word “Jamaica.’ At its essence, the Jamaican lottery scam is a typical lottery scam which starts with a phone call informing you the you have won a lottery you never entered and then told that in order to receive your prize, you need to pay various fees, taxes or costs. The truth is that you have not won a Jamaican lottery and, in fact, it is illegal for American citizens to play foreign lotteries. People who fall for this scam end up paying large amounts of money to the scammers and never get anything in return. Now the enterprising Jamaican scammers have come up with a new scam in which they contact you telling you that they can help provide convenient loans for debt relief or credit repair. Often they tell the victim that in order to get the loan, the victim must make as many as three advance monthly payments. Once the victim has done this, he or she shortly learns that although the victim has paid the monthly payments, the promised loan never comes. In other circumstances, the victim is told that he or she must provide his or her bank account information including routing numbers for the victim’s bank in order for the company to deposit the loaned money into the victim’s bank account. The truth is that by providing this information, the victim has just enabled the scammer to access and steal the victim’s entire bank account.
Unless you have family or friends in Jamaica, it is probably a good idea not to answer any telephone call that shows an area code of 876. It is also important to remember that you will never win a lottery that you have not entered and no legitimate lottery requires you to pay anything to receive your prize. In regard to the new Jamaican scam, you should never deal with any company in regard to loans or anything else that you have not checked out for legitimacy, particularly when it comes to financial products. Also, never give out personal information such as bank account information or your Social Security information to anyone who calls you or emails you because you can never be sure they are legitimate. If you have any thoughts that such a call or email may be legitimate, check it out first and call a telephone number that you know is legitimate for the company for accurate information and to find out if it was a scam or not.