No funding yet for campaign against lottery scam - Gov't

Published: Wednesday | October 10, 2012 Comments 0

A STATE-RUN education campaign is yet to get off the ground to warn persons of the dangers of the lottery scam.

State Minister for Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Julian Robinson was on Monday unable to give a time frame for the implementation of the campaign as he said the funds were not yet available to carry out the programme.

"We are reviewing proposals for a public education campaign to warn persons of the dangers of the lotto scam. I can't give a specific timeframe on when it will start," Robinson stated in an email to The Gleaner. "Jamaica Information Service developed a proposal for us but we have to seek the funding to implement it."

Earlier this year an organisation named Fairpoint launched the website www.bewareof876.com "to raise awareness about the telephone scam originating from the Jamaican 876 area code that targets seniors and has caused devastating financial and emotional harm".

The organisation said it was working in collaboration with law enforcement in New England, United States (US) and, despite ramped up efforts to crack down on the lottery scam, particularly in Montego Bay, St James, the website continues to sound its warning.

Up to this week, persons in the US have continued to complain about being bombarded with calls from suspected scammers from Jamaica.

In his email, Robinson said it was difficult to estimate how wide or broad the warning has gone out in the US, but noted that the lottery scam was negatively affecting Jamaica's reputation as a location for business, tourism and specifically the information technology and business process outsourcing sectors.

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