Woman falls victim to Jamaican sweepstakes scam
SPOKANE VALLEY, USA — A Spokane Valley woman is the latest victim of Jamaica's lottery scammers.
She has been identified on the KXLY.com website as Francis Miller and now finds herself unable to pay a telephone bill of US$230.91.
She racked up the bill calling Jamaica to verify if a call she got informing her that she had won a sweepstake prize of US$2.5 million was authentic. The scammers tried to solicit a fee of US$200 to insure the money for delivery. The scammers have been harassing Francis for months now.
The woman is single, has health problems and makes less than $700 a month on disability.
The Washington State Better Business Bureau has received more than a dozen reports of similar scams with calls from Jamaica informing people they've won a sweepstakes.
Last year police in the US, Britain and Canada joined with Jamaican law enforcement to form a joint task force to combat the lottery scam which reportedly rakes in US$30 million annually.
The Joint Operations Linked to Telemarketing (JOLT), was formed after persons in the state of Minnesota received threats of death, arson and the rape of their grandchildren if they did not fork out money.
Local police report that more than 100 persons have been killed by the lotto 'scammers' and say the scam is linked to the mayhem that has besieged the tourist resort of Montego Bay in St James.
Ten cops stationed at the Mount Salem police station in the parish were recommended retired in the public interest for their alleged roles in the illegal lotto scheme by former police commissioner Rear Admiral Hardley Lewin.