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Gov't gets tougher on lottery scammers

Published:Thursday | April 19, 2012 | 5:45 PM

Jerome Reynolds, Gleaner Writer

The Government is to introduce stronger legislation to tackle the infamous lottery scam.

Speaking at a press conference today, State Minister in the Technology Ministry, Julian Robinson said lottery scamming has been undermining the country’s reputation as a place to do business.

Jamaican lottery scammers have been blamed for fleecing billions from unsuspecting persons in the United States.

According to Robinson, approximately 30,000 calls are made each day to the United States by Jamaican criminals attempting to defraud persons.

He said it is estimated that Jamaican criminals earn approximately US$300 million annually from the lottery scam.

The state minister has disclosed that government will enact legislation which will impose sanctions and penalties for breaches of security and privacy protection.

He said the ministry will be mounting a public education and awareness campaign targeting schools in western Jamaica, which he says are recruiting grounds for lotto scammers.

Meanwhile, Robinson said Jamaica will embark on a media campaign in the US to mitigate the negative images about the country.