Another phone scam targeting Canadians has been in the news recently and it proves criminals are getting even craftier. Like the CRA phone and email scams we've heard so much about, this operation has been stealing money from hundreds of innocent people.
The deceitful scammers in this game have been targetting people across the US and Canada. They prey on venerable groups, particularly seniors, phoning them and telling them they've won a lottery prize worth millions of dollars. The callers then go on to say the victim needs to pay a processing fee in order to claim their prize, and if they tell anyone about their winnings, the money will be taken away from them.
Agnes Frechette of Winnipeg spoke to CBC about her experience with the scam which she says is extremely embarrassing. She ended up losing her entire life savings after transferring $6,000 to lottery scam artists via Western Union.
The fraudsters even went as far as to threaten Frechette when they said she didn't transfer the money to them fast enough, "He was going to punish me," she told CBC.
Sadly for Frechette and other victims, the chances of getting money back after a scam like this are slim to none, according to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre. They say that fraudsters have even been requesting bitcoin from people since the cryptocurrency is harder to track and investigate.
On the bright side, the United States FBI just hit a huge milestone in their investigation into the scam. They were able to track down an alleged kingpin of the operation in Jamacia. Just recently, he was sentenced to six years in federal prison and ordered to pay $1.5 million USD in restitution.
A recent jail sentencing in a phone scam operation may have put a dent in what has become a rival to the drug trade as one of Jamaica's most lucrative criminal enterprises.https://t.co/RZVUzMEJFv— CBC Radio (@cbcradio) October 25, 2018
An American university professor named Jovan Scott has been studying the lottery scamming industry in Jamaica where he's originally from. He told CBC the operation grew prominent all the way back in 2012 and those involved claim they were doing it as some sort of payback for years of slavery and colonialism.