Preventing losses in fake lottery scams and sweepstakes

WTNH) – The United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) and Connecticut Better Business Bureau are apart pf a new campaign to wipe out sweepstakes and lottery scams.

The USPIS has been working with Jamaica’s legislators and law enforcement in a program called Project “JOLT” (Jamaican Operations Linked to Telemarketing).  Project JOLT helped shut down several telemarketing operations which give money to Jamaican gangs, and help finance drug and weapons smuggling.

Connecticut Better Business Bureau spokesman Howard Schwartz underscored how important it is for consumers to understand scams like these…

Consumers lose tens of millions of dollars through telemarketing fraud. Project JOLT is working to stop the Caribbean operations, bring the criminals to justice and recover victims’ money.  Consumers can do their part by knowing how these scams work, and taking measures to ignore these sorts of calls.

Here are some tips from the Connecticut Better Business Bureau and the USPIS:

  • You cannot win a sweepstakes or lottery if you didn’t enter
  • Beware of demands to pay by an untraceable method such as a wire transfer or gift cards, and never send cash through the mail.
  • Get a non-published telephone number and install an answering machine with a caller ID display.
  • Limit personal information that you share online
  • Hang up if these criminals threaten, coerce, or resort to psychological intimidation.