For over ten years, Jamaican lottery scams have been defrauding U.S. victims, most of them elderly. Over the years, the scams have taken more than 300 million dollars per year. Last week, Damion Bryan Barrett became the first Jamaican citizen to be extradited to the U.S. to face fraud charges. He was indicted in 2012, and pleaded not guilty to 38 counts of fraud.
The fraud starts with a phone call from an 876 area code or the victims receives a postcard saying that he or she has won a lottery. Sometimes as many as 30,000 telephone calls are placed each day. He or she is then told to pay income taxes or fees before receiving the prize. The prize is never received. Many elderly people fall for the scam. The fraudster then continues to ask for additional payments. Oftentimes, they threaten the victims, telling them that if payments are not received, their family or friends may be killed. Sometimes the scammers pose as law enforcement officials investigating the scheme and demand money, saying that there is a cost to collecting evidence or making a claim. Potential victims should be aware that they are being taken for their money and that the activity is illegal. If you lost money as part of a Jamaican lottery scam, our attorneys may be able to help you recover your losses. Please call us at 312-332-4200 to find out how.
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