JAMAICAN SWEEPSTAKES SCAM TARGETS OTHELLO, WA WOMAN
Scam Uses “Customer Consumer Award Company,” Spoofs Ohio Number: 216-539-4557 and has Jamaican FAX of 876-392-2802
Scammers are at it again, with the Jamaican Sweepstakes Scam coming back onto BBB’s radar with a vengeance. The son of a senior living in Othello, WA contacted BBB about his mother receiving scam calls stating that she had “won $97,000” in the Jamaican sweepstakes. He stated that he “tried to contact the WA BBB,” using a 202# the scammers gave his mother. He stated to this BBB that the person who answered on the other end was “very rude and I couldn’t understand him.” This BBB had to explain to the son of the elder victim that the number he used was a number provided by the scammers to make it look as though they were official.
BBB NOTE: The BBB name has been misused in this scam in the past to make it sound or seem official.
Once the scammers felt they had a likely victim, they continued to call and contact the woman, enticing her to wire $200 for taxes, and then to give her credit card number for this or that reason. The elder gave her credit card number, and a few days later, there was an erroneous charge of $900 on it. She contacted her bank immediately to tell them what had happened. The elder states that they even called her during the day to the point of harassment. When the woman wasn’t seeing anything being produced by the scammers, she told them to stop calling, and refused to do anything more with them. But, they continued calling. That was when her son got involved.
There are several variations to this scam. In a most recent case out of Boise, ID, scammers called and identified themselves as an employee of the Better Business Bureau located in Washington, D.C. They stated to the consumer that they had won a sweepstakes and that there is a one million dollar check waiting for them. The telephone number was from a Jamaican area code.
PAST ALERTS SHOWING VARIATIONS AND FREQUENCY OF THIS SCAM
July 2010 Warning from Boise BBB (activity in Southern ID)
May 2010 Warning about Spokane Valley Woman
March 2010 Warning about Scam Targeting Montana
February 2010 Warning (Tip #4)
If you are a victim of this scam, we urge you to do the following: 1) do NOT speak with the scammers again. Tell them you have contacted the authorities and are onto their game, and you won’t talk with them anymore. Do not give into threats or further harassment. Stand firm, 2) contact your financial institutions and/or credit card merchants and/or bank to report the compromise of info ASAP, 3) file a police report if you have compromised sensitive info and feel you may be a potential ID theft victim.