90 Americans lose USD5.9 million to Jamaican lottery scammers


The menace of Internet lottery scammers received a setback recently with the arrest and extradition of eight Jamaican lottery fraudsters.

Prior to their arrest and eventual extradition, they were said to have used a lottery scam defraud at least 90 Americans making away with over USD5.7 million.

The Jamaican fraud ring were said to have carried out the con by offering a phony prize, sweepstakes and lottery offer to unsuspecting victims who until the arrest of the scammers thought they were applying to win actual lotteries and special offers.

A disclosure by the US Federal Trade Commission said the US Department of Justice (DOJ) has confirmed that eight Jamaicans were extradited to the US and now are in custody in North Dakota.

The operation was said to have taken years of work by the FBI’s Bismarck office, the US Postal Inspection Service, the US Attorney’s Office, DOJ, and the Jamaican government which arrested this group last year.

However, the FTC gave hints on why do foreign lottery scams work? Because these scammers play on our hopes for good fortune. After all, who doesn’t want to win the lottery? But, if you get a call or letter offering a chance to play – or saying you’ve already won a foreign lottery, know this:

Apparently, by American law, playing a foreign lottery is illegal. Both by phone and by mail.

Americans are also advised to never pay for a prize. And never wire money (or give the numbers from a prepaid card or gift card) to anyone who asks you to. These are sure signs of lottery scams.

The FTC said buying even one foreign lottery ticket means your name gets added to lists that scammy telemarketers buy and sell to each other. You’ll get lots more calls and letters with scam offers.

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