By Alan Sorensen
HELENA Montana Department of Commerce news release issued today warns Montanans to beware of returning phone calls to 876 Area Code.
Calls announcing to Montanans that they have won millions in the Australian lottery or sweepstakes or British lottery are coming into the state, the Telemarketing Fraud Unit of the Department of Commerce Consumer Affairs Office is warning consumers. To collect their winnings, consumers are told to wire thousands of dollars to Jamaica to cover processing fees and taxes.
"Regrettably, Montanans have been victims of the latest lottery and sweepstakes scams," said Annie Bartos, chief legal counsel for the Department Commerce and head of the Commerce Affairs office. "Some Montanans have lost significant dollars."
The department warns that if it sounds too good to be true, it is.
The scam leaves an 876 area code- the Jamaica connection for return calls.
The Department reminds
Montana consumers not to send cash, or provide their credit card number to anyone they do not know. Montanans who play a foreign lottery through the mail or
over the telephone are violating federal law.
To report telemarketing fraud of any kind, contact the
Montana Department of Commerce, Telemarketing Fraud Unit at 444-9405.