KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) — More than three dozen Jamaicans have been arrested as suspected lottery scammers, police on the Caribbean island said Wednesday.
The Jamaica Constabulary Force said a two-day operation this week by police and soldiers netted 41 suspects in western Jamaica. Raids took place simultaneously in several communities on Monday and Tuesday.
The suspects’ identities were not immediately released. Cars, laptops and high-end electronics were among items seized. Police also alleged they found “lead sheets,” or lists with names, addresses and phone numbers of people in other countries targeted for the scam.
Victims of the cross-border telemarketing fraud are often elderly Americans who get cheated out of their retirement savings.
Jamaica’s lottery scam often begins with a phone call that informs a target in another country that they have won an international sweepstakes, but they first need to wire money to cover taxes. People who fall for the trick and send payments then get harassed for more money by aggressive swindlers who bombard them with calls.