JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A common scam continues to target people in Jacksonville. It tells them they won a sweepstakes but must send money before receiving the reward.
Channel 4 Crime and Safety Analyst Ken Jefferson recently received one of these calls. Jefferson often warns the community about scams like this, so he saved the voicemail.
"This call is in regards to $10.5 million that you have won in our mega-millions automated lottery," the recording stated.
The call came from a number in Jamaica and it told Jefferson all he had to do was wire some money to collect his reward.
"I automatically know that this is a scam because I have not been to Jamaica, I have not entered a sweepstakes. How can they call me to say I'm a winner?" said Jefferson.
Jefferson said these scammers are very difficult to catch because they're international and mobile.
"They have a call center with a lot of people placing these calls. Because you will get someone believing they won millions of dollars and send money over," Jefferson explained.
Jefferson and Channel 4 reporter Scott Johnson called the number back. At first, the man on the other line tried walking them through the scam until they identified themselves.
"I'm Scott Johnson, we're with Channel 4 News in Florida." The man hung up the phone immediately.
"There you go. That proves it's a scam. He hung up as soon as you identified yourself as a reporter. He hung up because he was about to say how much money you need to send him because it's a scam," said Jefferson.
Jefferson says while this is something the FBI or Department of Treasury may investigate at the federal level, if you have been victimized by someone like this, call your local police. They can start the investigation and forward it to the federal authorities.