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Rip-Off Alert: Foreign lottery scam gets more violent

Reported by: Marie Mortera
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Updated: 3/15/2013 12:13 pm
LAS VEGAS (KSNV MyNews3) -- A foreign lottery scheme now has with a troublesome new twist. In this Rip-Off Alert, this scam might actually pose a danger.

But U.S. postal inspectors say Jamaica is a home base for a foreign lottery scam involving con men who are now threatening their victims.

U.S. postal inspectors say this is a troubling trend.

"The individuals who are actually perpetrating these schemes are incredibly violent individuals and extremely aggressive," said. U.S. Postal Inspector Antonio Gomez.

Typically, con men involved in lottery schemes call their victims, tell them they've won a prize and then try to convince them to pay a tax or fee to collect their winnings.

The Jamaican ringleaders don't stop there.

"If there is any kind of push back from the victims, they are incredibly aggressive," Gomez said.

With new technology like Google Earth, the con artists are able to see a satellite photo of their victim's home up close and then use that information to threaten them.

" ‘I see you live at 1234 Main Street and I see your red door with the blue bird on it, and if you don't send us the money, we will have someone deal with you personally,’ " Gomez said.

Postal inspectors are stepping up efforts to combat this new crime gang and protect U.S. citizens.

"We currently are working with the Department of Justice and extraditing individuals from Jamaica to the U.S. to face federal charges," Gomez said.

Gomez wants the public to keep this fact in mind: "There is no foreign lottery -- not out of Jamaica, not out of Costa Rica, not out of Spain, not out of anywhere else."
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