VACAVILLE, CA – Police are warning residents of a Jamaican lottery phone scam targeting seniors. The Vacaville Police department said the scam usually begins with a phone call from a Jamaican area code, typically from an “876” number.
The caller will have a Jamaican accent and inform the victim they have won a price of $1 million, a vehicle or some other prize. They will then be told they need to pay taxes to claim the winnings.
Vacaville Police Sgt. Charlie Spruill said most recently, the victims have been told by the scammers that someone will come to their homes the same day of the phone call to collect their tax money.
Victims may also receive calls telling them to send the money via a wire transfer to collect their prize. The scammers tell them not to tell anyone about winning so as to avoid excessive public attention, Spruill said.
Police emphasize that the scammers try to intimidate their victims by calling with their personal information, including their home address, convincing seniors they are friends or acquaintances.
Spruill advised seniors who are not expecting international phone calls, to check with the phone service providers about placing a block on calls coming from outside the U.S. The block would prevent the scam calls from Jamaica.
The police department also reminded residents to always verify the source of phone calls when asked for money or personal bank information. In addition, never give personal information such as Social Security numbers or date of birth.
Contact the Vacaville Police Department at (707) 449-5200 with any questions or concerns about this scam or others.