Government has rolled out a comprehensive five-point plan to combat fraudulent schemes and prosecute operators.
The plan includes: public education; increased enforcement; strengthening of legislation, judicial and procedural rules and restitution for victims.
Speaking at the weekly Jamaica House Briefing on Wednesday, March 13, Minister with responsibility for Information, Sen. the Hon. Sandrea Falconer said: “Government has launched a public awareness campaign on the dangers of scamming and is encouraging people to report scamming activities in their communities. We are also working on outreach in the United States to raise awareness by providing tips on how individuals can protect themselves from this type of fraud.”
Minister Falconer said the combined measures reflect Government’s sincerity and commitment in working with the United States to protect its citizens and bring an end to the lottery scam. National Security Minister Hon. Peter Bunting also visited Washington DC where he delivered a formal written submission to the Congressional Committee on Aging looking into the scam on American citizens.
In addition, Minister of State in the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining and Chairman of the Anti-Lottery Scam Inter-Ministerial Committee, Hon. Julian Robinson who was also in the United States has done some five television and radio interviews targeting areas in Florida, Colorado, Detroit, Baltimore and Boston which are among the areas most affected by incidents of the lotto scam.
The Information Minister while pointing out that this is the most intense campaign undertaken by Jamaica since 2007 when the lottery scam surged, said the Government has undertaken other initiatives. These include:
The recent amendment to the Jamaica’s Evidence Act which allows victims of certain types of crimes including lottery scams in Jamaica and the US to give testimony by video link
The establishment of an Anti-Lottery Scam Police Task Force ensuring that some of its best resources are devoted to targeting fraudulent activities which has carried out some 40 major operations and disrupted scamming criminal networks
The creation of a website to give tips to persons on how to avoid being scammed
The formation of a crisis management team to assist with the initiatives and the instituting of an Inter-Ministerial Committee which is observing the activities of the lottery scam and focusing on ways to prevent a fallout in the telemarketing industry.
Contact: Communications Unit-OPM