Scam of the day – May 8, 2017 – Jamaican Lottery scam update

In the Scam of the day for November 12, 2016 I informed you about Lavrick Willocks, an accused mastermind of the infamous phony Jamaica lottery scam  who was arrested in Jamaica and was then, along with eight other co-defendants, facing extradition to the United States to stand trial on various criminal charges related to the Jamaica lottery scam.  Now Willocks and the others have all been finally extradited to North Dakota to face criminal charges.

The 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 continues as other Jamaicans independently operate this scam.    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, largely unchecked until Jamaica passed legislation in 2013 making it easier to convict the scammers.

In May of 2015,  following three days of deliberation a North Dakota jury convicted Sanjay Williams, of Montego Bay, Jamaica of conspiracy, wire fraud and money laundering charges related to this scam    This particular case was four years in the making and started when an 86 year old North Dakota widow, Edna Schmeets lost her entire life’s savings of $300,000 to Jamaican scammers who telephoned her and told her that she had won a 19  million dollar Jamaican lottery, but that she needed to pay taxes and fees before she could claim her prize. Williams was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

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, legal 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.

Scam of the day – November 12, 2016 – Accused Jamaican lottery scammer facing extradition

Earlier this week, Lavrick Willocks, an accused mastermind of the infamous phony Jamaica lottery scam was arrested in Jamaica and is now, along with eight other co-defendants, facing extradition to the United States to stand trial on various criminal charges related to the Jamaica 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, largely unchecked until Jamaica passed legislation in 2013 making it easier to convict the scammers.

In May of 2015,  following three days of deliberation a North Dakota jury convicted Sanjay Williams, of Montego Bay, Jamaica of conspiracy, wire fraud and money laundering charges related to this scam    This particular case was four years in the making and started when an 86 year old North Dakota widow, Edna Schmeets lost her entire life’s savings of $300,000 to Jamaican scammers who telephoned her and told her that she had won a 19  million dollar Jamaican lottery, but that she needed to pay taxes and fees before she could claim her prize. Williams was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

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, legal 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.

Scam of the day – October 17, 2015 – Jamaican lottery scam drives victim to suicide

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.  Estimates of the amount of money lost by victims of this scam range from a low of 300 million dollars per year to as much as a billion dollars 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 which is the area code for Jamaica.   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.   Recently CNN reported about the suicide of a victim of the Jamaican lottery scam, Albert Poland Jr. who killed himself  as a result of the stress related to the lottery scam in which he was constantly harassed by scammers seeking more and more money.  Still a believer however, in his suicide note he said he hoped he would be vindicated when his family received the 2.5 million dollar prize from Jamaica.

In the Scam of the day of May 15th I reported to you that following three days of deliberation a North Dakota jury convicted Sanjay Williams, of Montego Bay, Jamaica of conspiracy, wire fraud and money laundering charges related to the Jamaican lottery scam. This particular case was four years in the making and started when an 86 year old North Dakota widow, Edna Schmeets lost her entire life’s savings of $300,000 to Jamaican scammers who telephoned her and told her that she had won a 19  million dollar Jamaican lottery, but that she needed to pay taxes and fees before she could claim her prize.  Sentencing of Williams has been delayed to give Mr. Williams time to consider cooperating with investigators about others involved in return for a lesser sentence.  Williams faces a maximum of forty years in prison

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.    In regard to the Jamaican lottery scam, I urge you not to pick up the phone if your Caller ID shows the 876 area code.  Don’t establish any relationship with these scammers.  They will hound you if you do.  It is also important to remember that it is illegal to play foreign lotteries unless you are present in the other country.  While it is true that income taxes are owed on lottery winnings, legal 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.

Scam of the day – July 9, 2013 – Latest Jamaican scams

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.

TIPS

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.

Scam of the day – January 27, 2013 – Jamaica lottery scam update

Those of you who read this blog on a daily or regular basis are familiar with the Jamaica lottery scam, about which I have written a number of times and with good reason.  Jamaica has been a hot bed of phony lottery scams, victimizing unwary Americans for ten years.  It has been estimated that Jamaican scammers operating phony lotteries have stolen more than three hundred million dollars from Americans over that time.  Generally they way the scam operates is that you are told that you have won a lottery (that you never entered), but that you need to pay some administrative fees before receiving your huge prize.  The victims pay the fees, but never get the prize. The notice that you have won the prize generally comes by way of a phone call from the 876 area code.  Scammers in Jamaica make as many as 30,000 calls each day to the United States telling people.  they have won a non-existent lottery.  Although Jamaican officials have recently become increasingly aggressive in trying to shut down these scams, the Senate Special Committee on Aging is now investigating the scams with an eye toward determining what actions need to be taken to shut them down.

TIPS

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.