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Jamaican con artists calling area residents
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Unless you know someone in Jamaica, there’s probably no reason to answer a telephone call from the 876 area code.
Area residents have recently reported receiving such calls, which are sometimes mistaken as toll-free calls. In the United States, they are usually initiated by con artists.
In 2012, AARP reported that approximately 30,000 calls are made from Jamaica into the United States – each day – attempting to defraud American citizens. Senior citizens are often targeted.
Victims may be congratulated for winning a valuable prize, and then are directed to send a fee of up to $4,000 to process the winnings. Scammers often use Google Earth to identify local landmarks and make the scam more believable, AARP reported.
The 876 area code has also been linked to a form of telephone fraud known as the “one ring scam.” The Better Business Bureau issued a warning about this scam in 2014.
International scammers use computers to blast out millions of calls to cellphone numbers, ring once or twice, then disconnect.
“The objective is to make you curious enough to dial that number back,” BBB reports. Those who do are charged $19.95 for the international call fee itself and $9 per minute thereafter. The charges can add up if the victim stays on the phone, listening to music or advertising.
Consumers who have been duped by these calls also report calls coming from Dominican Republic (809), British Virgin Islands (284), Grenada (473) as well as Minnesota and Canadian area codes.