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Jamaican lottery scammers impersonating FBI agents - US professor

Published:Monday | November 24, 2014 | 3:35 PM
Professor Martha Steffens, University of Missouri

A United States professor who chairs Business and Financial Journalism at the Missouri School of Journalism is reporting that a new trend is developing in lottery scamming in Jamaica.

Professor Martha Steffens says the scammers are now presenting themselves as Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) agents and officials of the Financial Crimes Enforcement network as they seek new ways to exploit their victims.

Professor Steffens told a financial forum this morning that the new move is aimed at preventing detection since the clamp down on traditional approaches like forcing their victims to wire money to them.

According to Professor Steffen scammers will call victims telling them they have won the lottery.

She says where the potential victim hangs up, the scammers will call back pretending to be an FBI agent following up on the attempts to scam them.

She says the scammers are also aware of the measures put in place by money transfer companies such as Western Union and Money Gram in an effort to clamp down on the lotteries scam.

As a result, Stefens says the scammers are now using prepaid debit cards so victims can send the money to them directly.

Professor Steffens also says the lottery scammers are also setting up accounts in Caribbean tax havens such as Panama.

Meanwhile, the Professor says Interpol has set up a Coalition, to handle the Lottery Scam.

She says victims are encouraged to step up and report the crimes.

However, she says many of the victims are hesitant to come forward as they have been threatened and a number of them are also ashamed that they fell for the scam.

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