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Authorities warn of lottery scam

By Staff | Dec 11, 2008

The Lee County Sheriff’s Office is warning residents that an old scam is re-emerging in the area. Several people have been victimized by the Jamaican Lottery Scam.
In two instances in the past couple of weeks, Lee County residents have been contacted by people purporting to be representatives of Global International. Residents are told they have won $2 million or $3 million in the Jamaican Lottery.
The catch is that the “lucky” residents have to wire money in order to receive the documents needed to claim their “winnings.” The victims then receive calls from several individuals, each claiming they need money to ensure delivery of the necessary “documents.”
Once the money is wired, the victim receives a variety of excuses why the important “documents” are not being delivered, such as a sick child.
One local victim lost $18,000 in the scam, while another wired between $40,000 and $70,000 to strangers over the past two months.
“Never, ever send money to someone on the premise that you’ve won a bunch of money or some type of lottery,” said Detective John Scheall of the sheriff’s office Economic Crimes Unit. “Any legitimate lottery is not going to ask people for money up front before paying them their winnings. If you’re contacted and asked to pay money to collect money, hang up immediately … and save yourself a lot of money and heartache.”