Spin on Jamaican phone scam promises luxury prizes with loan

The scammers offer great prizes - but you have to secure a loan. (Source: Flickr/MGN Online)
The scammers offer great prizes - but you have to secure a loan. (Source: Flickr/MGN Online)

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - We want to let you know about a different kind of Jamaican phone scam being pulled on people.

These calls usually originate from an 876 area code in Jamaica. The caller informs you that you have won millions of dollars, perhaps a luxury vehicle or a new high-definition TV.

The scammer may also claim to be affiliated with Publishers Clearing House, UPS, a government agency, or even the Better Business Bureau.

To claim your prize, you have to send hundreds of dollars on a money card or by Western Union.

And here's the twist. The scammers may also claim they have a loan company in the U.S., but to secure the loan, you have to make 3 months of payments in advance.

They will ask for your banking routing number in order to deposit the loan funds, which you have probably figured out, do not exist, just like the loan company doesn't exist.

"You certainly want to question it when someone calls you randomly and is offering you money and then tells you you have to pay an advanced fee in order to qualify," said Michele Mason with the BBB.

Furthermore, it is illegal for foreign lotteries or sweepstakes to operate in the United States.

It is also illegal for American citizens to participate in these sweepstakes and lotteries.

The bank loan scam, while also illegal, is outside the reach of U.S. law enforcement because they are operating on foreign soil.

And remember, you have to enter a sweepstakes to win.

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