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How the Jamaican Lottery Scam Operated

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How it Plays

A phone call; "Congratulations! You've won the Jamaican Lottery!"

The conversation is bright and warm and the caller's voice is sweet and enticing.

The 'winner' only has to send $9,000.00 to pay the taxes on the $1,000,000.00 that has been won.

It seems a bargain. So the money is sent to a legal sounding agency via Western Union. Then nothing is heard.

A month, and nothing.

Then a police man calls from the Montego Bay Office and warns the person that they've been scammed. They will be contacted to send more money. When that happens, agree and contact the Police immediately so that they can be at Office and apprehend the perpetrators.

The Victim agrees.
More money is sent.
And nothing is heard.

If the Montego Bay Office is called, there is a police officer by that name stationed there. But nothing happens.

The Victim has been fleeced.


If it sounds ridiculous that is because the key features are not mentioned.


A call centre was established in Jamaica which did the billing for various magazines. Among them is Reader's Digest. It was learned that those who have a subscription were over 60.

The assumption, a mix of senility and ignorance which would distort reality was utilised.

Lists of subscribers were copied and sold to Scammers. The Scammers would hire five women with sweet voices, give each a 'burner' phone, and a portion of potential victims.

The caller would go down the list.

Those who agreed to send the money were told where, and the Scammer would be alerted and collect it.

At the completion of the list, those who had not complied were crossed off. Those who had complied had their information given to the 'police officer'.

Then the chip in the burner phone was destroyed.

The Victim wouldn't know what to do. To call the original number had no result, to call the police had no effect.

Hundreds, then thousands, hundred of thousands of victims, made Lottery Scamming the major money earner in Jamaica.

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Why it Works

Coming to public attention in 2006, being headlined, did not end the Scam.
It has continued.

People are phoned, told they have 'won', and believe it.

That they never entered the 'competition', that they don't know anything about it, does not dissuade a large number of Victims.

The fact the caller knows the name, the address, etc. of the victim seems to beguile. Seems to prove 'legitimacy'.

The older person, whether senile or not, who isn't familiar with the Internet, with Call Centres can not grasp that someone in Montego Bay could make a copy of a list of magazine subscribers and sell it.


Yes, people have gone to prison for their part in the Lottery Scam. Yes, their property has been seised. But the victims will not be reimbursed.

There are no records from whom the money was obtained. Yes, this million dollars was gotten from victims.. but which victims? How many can prove they sent $X to Montego Bay five years ago?

Scam Basics

There are many scams that run today; all have the same basics.

1. A person who is easy to deceive with a: "You Won!"
2. Claiming if one pays x they will receive 4XXX making it seem a logical gamble.
3. No ascertainable address for the Scammer.

Most Scammers are arrested because they buy a brand new car, or house for cash. They have no legal basis for acquiring the money. They pay no taxes.

So where does this guy get Ten Million Dollars?

The Scammer isn't arrested 'in the act' or with direct proof of his involvement; it is when he pays cash one time for what he wants.

This seller alerts the police, the police do their check, and the guy gets in custody and his place is searched. Maybe a few receipts from Western Union are found, maybe something on his cell phone, etc.

In Jamaica

Crime has increased, the number of illegal guns has exploded. The Scammer has to protect himself from other Scammers and those who would rob him.

Knowing this guy has bags of cash leads gun men to his door.

Many murders which seem to have no 'motive' are investigated and often lead the police to the basis; the Scam.


From the earliest days I deleted posts which have 'You Won' or a version thereof, because I never win.

I never enter competitions.

If you haven't entered a competition, you haven't won.

Put it like this, you want to play poker? You put in your ante. You don't put in, you can't play.

Keep that as your mantra.

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