The Jamaican Lottery Scam: Like the Nigerians, but Over the Phone and Kinda Scary?

Categories: Crime

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Come get a mountain of cash, or scammers will blow your head off.
The classic Nigerian phishing scam operates on the principal that if you email a far-fetched story about an West African prince in dire need of a place to stash millions of dollars to enough people, some poor schmuck will be gullible enough to wire some money. It's not that the scammers are too lazy to craft a more believable story; it's that they're trying to sift out the vast majority of people with common sense or Internet savvy to dismiss their story as bullshit.

The emerging Jamaican Lottery Scam operates on an even simpler principle, which is demonstrated through the recent case of 74-year-old Lake Highlands resident James Bennett.

About a month ago, Bennett got a call from an unknown man with a Jamaican accent who told him he had won the lottery, plus a new car. He could receive both as soon as he paid $5,000 in taxes, which he could send via MoneyGram, which isn't the IRS' preferred method of collection but will do in a pinch.

Bennett, smelling a scam, told the man not to call again and hung up the phone.

That's where things stood until just after 10 p.m. Sunday night when Bennett's phone rang again. It was the man with the Jamaican accent again. This time, he said he'd come to Dallas to deliver the car and prize money in person but that he still needed the tax payment. By now, the bill had miraculously shrunk to $150, still payable by MoneyGram.

Bennett refused once again, prompting the caller to deploy the Jamaican Lottery Scam's signature psychological twist: "I know where you live," the man told Bennett. "I'm going to blow your fucking head off."

As you can tell, the Jamaican scam is more direct than its Nigerian cousin, with a threat of physical violence to provide that extra little bit of motivation. Unfortunately for the scammers, their tactics might need further refinement. Bennett called Dallas police, who referred the case to their financial crimes unit.

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Yo wherez myz slice of da taxes?


I wish our family member who's knee deep in this would listen! They have no money, and has become very defensive when this is brought up! This is so scary!

For those of you not taking this seriously, please reconsider.  These activities rip apart families, and destroy lives. 


What are you talking about?

Engineer Jones picked my name out of the phone book before the Lord clasped him to His bosom,  left me $23million.  I've sent money for the taxes and government stamps.

You mean,  it's a scam???

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

Lets see, someone receives a direct threat of violence that is likely to result in death; and, it is referred to the financial crimes unit?  That is our DPD at work ...


At least the Nigerians are polite about it.  Or maybe that's a byproduct of their being royalty... the politeness was ingrained in them while they were yet young princes and princesses.  

Of course, everyone is nicer than Citibank.  I mean, I've sent them my ssn, my cc number, mother's maiden name, EVERYTHING, but they are still very rude about me clearing up my credit.  I guess I need to go ahead and send then a blank check.  I'm sure they are trustworthy.

By the way, I'm going on a cruise!  Just wanted everyone to know!!  All I have to do is listen to a brief seminar before we depart.

While on my cruise, I'm going to learn all about how to make $ as a medical transcriptionist.  

See ya later, SUCKERS!


@mcdallas Your remarks about Citibank made me laugh -- with irony.  I used to work for them.  Contemptible soulless corporation, rotten to their clients and their employees.  I urge everyone to sever any ties with them.

Speaking of cruises, I'd love to send my former "superiors" at Citi on one...on the River Styx. 

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