Scam operations launched by Nigerian crooks, also known as 419 scams, have been around ever since email was invented, but more recently, US residents are being bombarded with shady calls from Jamaica, informing them that they’ve won a lottery.
Users are warned that lottery plots don’t arrive only via email, the Federal Trade Commission identifying around 30,000 fraudulent calls last year alone.
The Snake River Better Business Bureau (BBB) informs
that in many cases the scam artists give their potential victims fake phone numbers that allegedly belong to the organization. In reality, most of the phone numbers involved in these schemes have a Jamaica prefix.
Usually, the crooks call random numbers and tell the individual at the other end of the line that he/she has won large amounts of money in a lottery. In order to receive the prize, they must make payments that supposedly represent a fee needed to complete the transaction.
In some cases, they try to convince people to hand over their credit card details.
Many of the targets reported the attempts and when BBB representatives tried to call back the numbers they were given, they were met with busy tones, voice mails, or even “shouts of profanity.” This, of course, after the crooks realized that they weren’t being called by a potential victim.
According to the BBB, those who are told that they won a huge prize in a lottery shouldn’t get their hopes up for a number of reasons. First, because the purchase and sharing of foreign lotteries is not only illegal, but in most cases the activities are performed by shady companies, located in countries in which state authorities don’t control or monitor them.
Furthermore, federal law prohibits organizations from sending lottery materials via mail. This includes tickets and other papers that allegedly represent a ticket.