As I have described in earlier “scams of the day,” Jamaica has become a hub for international lottery scams that have particularly targeted the elderly in America. The scams have been done by phone calls from Jamaica telling unwitting victims that they have won a lottery, but that they have to pay various fees and taxes connected with the lottery in order to collect their prizes. As you should expect, the victims may pay the fees and taxes asked of them, but they never receive a prize. it has been estimated that this scam has been going on from Jamaica for about five years and have resulted in people in this country losing about 300 million dollars in the past year alone. Now, however, through joint efforts of American and Jamaican law enforcement, arrests have been made, most recently two high ranking government officials, Kingston Deputy Mayor Michael Troupe and St. James Councillor Sylvan Reid.
If you receive a telephone call from the area code 876, which is the area code for Jamaica, don’t even pick up the phone. As with any lottery, it is hard enough to win a legitimate lottery that you have entered; it is impossible to win a lottery that you have not entered. It is also illegal to play foreign lotteries. Finally, you should never have to pay fees to collect lottery winning and taxes are either deducted from your winnings or you pay them directly to the IRS.