JIS News

Minister of Information, Senator the Hon. Sandrea Falconer, says the Government is looking at ways to prevent any possible fall-out that lottery scamming may cause in the telemarketing industry.

“It is something that we are very concerned about and what we have to do is make sure that we are in constant dialogue with our investors. I believe that all the actions that we have taken as a Government, that people recognize that we are doing a lot, and that we have put a dent in the lottery scam business,” the Minister said.

Senator Falconer was speaking on Wednesday, March 13, at the weekly Jamaica House press briefing.

In the meantime, Minister Falconer stressed the Government’s commitment to nabbing scammers and eradicating the activity. She noted that so far, the anti-lottery scam police task force has carried out 40 major operations.

The Minister said that in its close collaboration with the US government to stop scamming, Jamaica is rolling out a comprehensive five-point plan, which include public education; increased enforcement; new laws; strengthening judicial and procedural rules, and restitution for victims.

“We are also working on outreach in the United states, raising awareness by providing tips on how individuals can protect themselves from this type of fraud,” she said.

Senator Falconer pointed out that a “tough” piece of new legislation was passed in the Senate last week.

“The Fraudulent Transaction Special Provisions Act (2013)… is designed to crack down on individuals who use lottery and advanced fee scams to prey on the elderly and other vulnerable groups,” she explained.

It also provides for sanctions to punish persons who aid and abet perpetrators of these unlawful schemes.

“These measures reflect the sincerity and commitment to our work with the United States to protect its citizens and end the lottery scam,” she argued.

Senator Falconer also highlighted recent changes to the Evidence Act to allow for victims of certain types of crimes in Jamaica and the US, including those related to lottery scams, to give anonymous video testimony. This eliminates the need for them to come to Jamaica to testify.

Chairman of the Anti-lottery Scam Inter-ministerial Committee, and State Minister for Science Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Julian Robinson, in a Huffington Post interview during his current visit to the United States, said some 400 persons have already been arrested in connection with the lottery scam.

By Alphea Saunders, JIS Reporters

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