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The Federal Trade Commission and other law enforcement agencies in the United States and Jamaica are turning up the heat on Jamaica-based telemarketing scammers. The rip-off artists pose as lawyers, customs officials, or lottery representatives, and target U.S. residents with phony promises of sweepstakes or lottery winnings.

According to the FTC, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the Jamaica Constabulary Force, these sweepstakes and lottery promotions are likely to be fake. “Winners” are told they can claim a prize if they pay for shipping, insurance, customs duties, or taxes, but in reality there is no prize – and the scammers keep the money.

The partnership between U.S. and Jamaican authorities – known as JOLT (Jamaican Operations Linked to Telemarketing) – allows the agencies to share information, investigators, and complaint data. This initiative helps expose fraudulent telemarketing operations in Jamaica and shut them down.

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The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC’s online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 1,500 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC’s Web site provides free information on a variety of consumer topics.

(FYI Jamaican 09)

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