Foreign lottery schemes impact elderly customers

Foreign lottery scheme

Postal Inspectors across the country have observed a sharp increase in the number of scams targeting older Americans in recent years. Seniors are being victimized by foreign lotteries, sweepstakes, and other frauds, and some of these nefarious ploys are carried out through the mail. Jamaica has been a point of origin for many of these scams, and the relentlessness of scam artists is steadily increasing.

In the scam, consumers are told they have won a lottery and asked to mail or wire money upfront to obtain their winnings. These false claims only end up with drained consumer bank accounts as the scammers collect their payday. No legitimate lottery will ask for money up front to collect winnings.

In June 2009, the United States Postal Inspection Service and other law enforcement agencies announced Project JOLT (Jamaican Organized Crime Linked to Telemarketing) to partner with the Jamaican government in an effort to combat Jamaican-based telemarketing fraud operations that prey on U.S. citizens and others.

“Sometimes the best defense is a good offense,” said U. S. Postal Inspector Pamela Durkee.

Postal Inspectors often receive tips coming from postal carriers who notice a high volume of letters addressed to an older resident that advertise a lottery, prize or sweepstakes. Other tips come from alert retail clerks who sense trouble when an elderly customer is repeatedly sending Priority Mail Express mailings and/or purchasing Postal Money Orders.

Only by maintaining constant vigilance can customers be protected from the criminal intentions of unscrupulous scammers.

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2 Comments

  1. Jonn

     /  March 4, 2014

    People who scam others are the scum of the earth. Turn them in and put their rear ends in jail.

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