VA BBB connection claimed in Lottery Scam - DO NOT SEND MONEY

February 13, 2009

Better Business Bureau Serving Central Virginia

News Release


RICHMOND, Va. – At least three Richmond-area residents received calls, as recently as today, from someone in Jamaica claiming to be associated with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) in Central Virginia.  They were told they had won $3.8 million dollars in a lottery, but they first needed to send $380 before they can get the winnings.


        “This is absolutely false,” said Tom Gallagher, the BBB’s president and CEO.  “We work very hard to set the standard for business integrity in the Richmond area.  We will not stand idly by and allow this individual to tarnish our reputation.”


        The person placing the call is from the 876 area code, which is in Jamaica.  He instructs the “winners” to wire the $380 to an address in Hollywood, Fla.


        Gallagher said consumers should not be duped by calls of lottery winning at any time, especially when those calls come to consumers requiring an advance payment for taxes or fees.


        Gallagher warned consumers to never money in advance of receiving a prize or pay-off.  “When they ask you to send money up front, you will never, ever get a prize. It doesn’t work like that, I promise,” Gallagher said.


        Consumers who have received similar calls about lottery winnings should notify the BBB at 804-648-0030.


The BBB in Central Virginia serves Richmond and Tri-Cities, as well as 42 surrounding counties, from Fauquier to Mecklenburg and Northumberland to Amherst. The nonprofit organization was established in 1954 to advance responsible, honest and ethical business practices and to promote customer confidence through self-regulation of business. Core services of the BBB include business reliability reports, dispute resolution, truth-in advertising, consumer and business education and charity review.