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Lottery scam alert

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Newark police say a Jamaican lottery scam has reached into central Ohio with some new twists.

The scammers call elderly people, telling them they won the lottery and convincing them to go to a local store or pharmacy and either send money via Western Union or to purchase a Green.Dot card and to give them the serial number on the back of the scratch-off ticket, according to Sgt. Scott Snow of the Newark Division of Police.

Snow has some tips for protecting against scams.

The victims are then hounded to send more money and the Jamaica-based scammers threaten them and try to intimidate them, Snow said.

Snow says the scammers are now sending police and fire personnel to the victims’ houses to perform “welfare checks” when the victims no longer respond to their demands for money. They have called New ark police pretending to be family members and have actually called courier services and sent them to pick up people and take them to the bank or store, Snow said.

New legislation has been approved by the Jamaican Parliament designed to stop the proliferation of lottery scams.

“This Government is determined to combat all forms of illegal activity and is targeting the scammers, their accomplices, tactics and technology,” Minister of National Security Peter Bunting said.

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