Last week I was reading a story online and noticed a link to the following information.

It holds particular interest to me because my parents are senior citizens and could easily fall prey to this scam.  I wanted to be sure YOU knew about it because it's highly likely that you, too, have older parents that you're watching out for.

It's the "876 Area Code" scam.  From AARP.com:

Approximately 30,000 calls are made from Jamaica into the United States — each day — attempting to defraud American citizens.

Seniors receive a call from an 876 area code, which is often mistaken for a toll-free number.  Victims are congratulated for winning the Jamaican lottery or a new car and then are directed to send a fee of up to $4,000 to process the lottery winnings. 

Victims are told that once the fee is received, money will be wired to their bank account and the car will be delivered to their home. 

Many times the caller will tell the victim that a representative of the lottery is in the area and as soon as the process fee is received, someone will deliver a check to their home. Scammers often use Google Earth to identify local landmarks and make the scam more believable.

A key to the scammer’s success is convincing victims to promise not to tell their family members and to make it a big surprise. If the scammers feel they have a potential victim, the calls will increase in frequency, resulting in hundreds of calls.

The money is requested through a wire from Western Union, Green Dot Card or in a creative way such as putting $100 bills in each page of a magazine.

check to email scammer