Scam of the day – October 10, 2017 – Jamaican lottery scam update

I have been reporting to you for years about the infamous  Jamaican lottery scam by which many Americans, mostly elderly, have been scammed out of money after being told that they have won the non-existent Jamaican lottery.  The scam begins when the victim receives a telephone call informing them that they have won this non-existent lottery that they never entered and are then pressured to pay “fees” and “taxes” before their winnings can be sent to them.    This scam has been going on since the 1990s.

After prolonged legal delays seven alleged Jamaican scammers are awaiting trial in North Dakota in January while six others have already pleaded guilty or agreed to plead guilty.

Meanwhile, in a deadly turn to this story, in September, Heidi Ann Muth, a 68 year old Californian who had been a victim of the Jamaican lottery scam was brutally stabbed to death in Jamaica after being lured to Jamaica by lottery scammers.

 

TIPS

As I have often told you, it is difficult to win a lottery you have entered.  It is impossible to win one that you have not even entered.  You should always be skeptical about being told that you have won a lottery you never entered.  It is also important to remember that it is illegal to play foreign lotteries except when you are actually present in the other country.

While it is true that income taxes are owed on lottery winnings, legitimate lotteries never collect tax money from winners.  They either deduct the taxes from the winnings or leave it up to the winners to pay their taxes directly to the IRS.  You also should never pay a fee to collect a legal lottery prize.