Safe from Scams: Foreign lottery scheme

May 2, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Jamaica, beautiful beaches and tropical weather. But U.S. Postal Inspectors say the island is also home base for a foreign lottery scam involving conmen who are now threatening their victims.

U.S. Postal Inspector Antonio Gomez said, "The individuals who are actually perpetrating these schemes are incredibly violent individuals and extremely aggressive."

U.S. Postal Inspector say this is a troubling trend. Typically, conmen involved in lottery schemes call their victims, tell them they've won a prize and then try to convince them to pay a tax or fee to collect their winnings. The Jamaican ringleaders don't stop there.

Gomez said, "If there is any kind of push back from the victims, they are incredibly aggressive."

With new technology like Google earth, the con artists are able to see a satellite photo of their victim's home and then use that information to threaten them.

Gomez said, "I see you live at 1234 Main Street and I see your red door with the blue bird on it and if you don't send us the money, we will have someone deal with you personally."

So, postal inspectors are stepping up efforts to combat this new crime gang and protect U.S. citizens.

Gomez added, "We currently are working with the department of justice and extraditing individuals from Jamaica to us to face federal charges."

In the meantime, keep this in mind.

Gomez said, "There is no foreign lottery, not out of Jamaica, not out of Costa Rica, not out of Spain, not out of anywhere else."

Authorities say to just say no if a con artist tries to convince you to pay a fee on winning a foreign lottery.


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