Did you receive a phone call from area code 876 telling you that you have won the Jamaican Lottery and all you have to do is pay the fees to release your money?
If you did, there is one problem, there is no Jamaican Lottery.
Recently, a Town resident was victimized by this scam and since Jamaican call back scam operators tend to target groups of area codes at one time I wanted to get this warning out quickly.
So, if you receive a call from a scam operation, first, hang up. Second, contact the Lady Lake Police Department to report the attempt. Third, let your friends, family and neighbors in the area know, either by social networking or an old-fashioned phone call, to prevent your loved ones from losing their hard earned money.
A lottery is a promotional device by which items of value are awarded to members of the public by chance, but which requires some form of payment to participate. In the United States lotteries are illegal except when conducted by the government and certain exempt charitable organizations.
Tens of thousands of calls are made daily from Jamaica into the US attempting to defraud American citizens, by one estimate. Another estimate reported that 30,000 Americans complained about Jamaican lottery fraud last year, up from less than 2,000 back in 2007. It is a very lucrative scam.
Even then, for one reason or another, up to 90 percent of victims do not report that they have been scammed, according to the Federal Trade Commission.
The Federal Trade Commission conservatively estimated that $82 million dollars has been scammed from American citizens, and that was based only on the 10 per cent that had reported the activity.
Here are key points for avoiding scam lotteries:
1. If you did not enter a legitimate lottery, you did not win one.
2. In almost all cases you must purchase a ticket to enter a legitimate lottery.
3. You never have to pay to collect winnings from a legitimate lottery. You pay taxes AFTER you receive the winnings. There are no other fees.
4. If you hold a winning lottery ticket, you notify the lottery, they do not notify you; not by email, not by phone, not by mail.
5. It is illegal under U.S . federal law to play ANY foreign lottery from the United States.
Learn to protect yourself and stay safe by remembering a few simple tips on preventing phone scams:
Never pay any money to collect supposed sweepstakes winnings.
Never wire money to anyone with whom you are not familiar.
Never provide anyone with personal information such as bank account, pin numbers, or Social Security numbers.
Contact the Lady Lake Police Department to report a phone scam.
Always remember that if an offer appears too good to be true, it usually is.
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