Phone scam targets Summerland resident

Offer of $7,700 lottery prize raised suspicions

When Heather Golhovits received a call telling her she had won $7,700 in a recent draw, she was suspicious.

The caller had not identified which lottery she had won, and she had not purchased a ticket.

She asked the caller to send her the cheque and hung up.

Then she checked the 876 telephone area code and discovered the prefix is often connected with the Jamaica Lottery Scam. She reported the call to the police.

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Cst. Jacques LeFebvre of the Summerland RCMP detachment said the Jamaica Lottery Scam is one of many telephone scams.

He urges those targeted by this scam to consider before responding.

“If it’s too good to be true, then it’s not true,” he said.

Lottery scam calls often involve telling the targeted person he or she has won a big prize, but must send in money first to pay for a processing fee. This fee is a sign that the prize is not legitimate.

“If you’ve won something, there’s no processing fee,” LeFebvre said.

The calls, despite their telephone area codes, can originate from anywhere in the world, he added.

And while some will avoid the scam because of their suspicions, others have been bilked.

“You’ve got to be very vigilant,” he said. “If you’re thinking it’s too good to be true, before you send any money, contact your local RCMP detachment.”

As for Golhovits, she has not received a large lottery cheque, and is not expecting to see one in the mail any time soon.

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