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Scam Alert--seniors are targets of fake sweepstakes scam from Jamaica

"Wouldn't it be great to win $5,000 a
week for life?"  You've no doubt seen a similar headline on an ad from Publisher's Clearing House for the famous sweepstakes organization.

But now Jamaican scammers are using the good name of Publisher's Clearing
House and other major prize companies to dupe thousands of senior citizens
out of their life savings.

Kim Nichols said her 77 year old father was ripped off.

"He received a phone call from someone saying they were from Publisher's
Clearing House.  They said he won a Mercedes, a nice car, and over a million
dollars," she said.

But Publisher's Clearinghouse had nothing to do with any of this, and it
doesn't notify winners on the phone.

Kim's father started getting a flood of phone calls from Jamaica's 876 area
code---with crooks impersonating government officials--- demanding  "Tax
Money" before he could get the prize.

Kim described how her father lost as much as $85,000 dollars.

A scammer will call and after convincing the victim that a large prize is coming, will say something like "You have to pay the tax before the check can be cashed."

Even when dealing with a distraught senior, the scammer will falsely be reassuring.  "Just keep your trust in us
now," the scammer told one victim.

Washington leadership are aware of the problem.

Senator Susan Collins commented, "There's nothing these scammers won't do. They're absolutely despicable."

Senator Bill Nelson is equally concerned saying, "We want to put out the red flags of warning."