Lottery Scammers use love as tool of trade

April 26, 2016
American law enforcement officials escorts alleged lotto scammer 28-year-old Damion Barrett of Norwood, St. James out of the island last year. A US woman says that after being a victim of scammers for two years she and began helping them to try and recoup her losses.
Inspector Dahlia Garrick (centre), head of the Corporate Communications Unit of the Jamaica Constabulary Force, speaks with members of the Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency, while the unit's liaison officer, Superintendent of Police Kevin Watson (left), looks on following an operation in Greenwood, St James, which resulted in several men being taken into custody. Montego Bay, St James is considered the epicentre for lottery scamming in Jamaica.

The Jamaican scammer has evolved in such a way that he not only scams a number of elderly persons living in the United States of America (USA), but also scams the elderly to fall in love with them, coaxing them to become a part of the scheme.

Sergeant Kevin Watson, public relations officer for the Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency (MOCA) West, which covers Trelawny, St James, Westmoreland and Hanover, told THE STAR that the lottery scam scheme is constantly evolving.

"We have seen different ways that lottery scammers have used to convince their victims to send money," he said.

"Sometimes after the scammer has exhausted soliciting money in one way, they will develop an intimate relationship with the victim. We have seen quite a number of these cases," the investigator said.

Sergeant Watson further told THE STAR that similar cases have come to the fore recently, including the employment of young female scammers to lure elderly United States men, using intimacy as their scamming tool.

"A lot of these persons are elderly, who feel lonely. When the scammer calls every single day to check up on them, they take advantage of them," Watson said.

Recently, a 51-year-old woman, Ella Mae Bradley, who resides in Evansville in Indiana, United States, reportedly fell for a Jamaican scammer who had previously scammed her.

She was recently arrested by officials after being implicated in a scheme which left elderly United States residents penniless.

Police alleged that Bradley was a victim of the Jamaican lottery scam in which she was fleeced of several thousand US dollars.

She then reportedly joined the scamming world.

The police further alleged that persons sent a number of cashier's cheques and cash to Bradley's home. The cops said that she, in turn, kept a portion of the ill-gotten money, and sent the rest to the Jamaican scammer.

Bradley reportedly told investigators that she had been a victim of the same scammers for two years and began helping them to try recoup her losses.

She claimed to have sent around US$1 million (approximately J$122 million) to Jamaica during the years inn which she was a victim of lottery scamming.

Other News Stories