Scam Artists Duped Elderly Victims in Sweepstakes Ploy

Scam Artists Duped Elderly Victims in Sweepstakes Ploy
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August 22, 2014

Last month two North Carolina residents pleaded guilty to swindling mostly elderly victims out of thousands of dollars using a sweepstakes scam.

Jessica Anne Brown, 39, of Greensboro and her husband Jason Dean Brown, 41, pleaded guilty to wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

From November 2004 to March 2013 the pair owned, operated and worked in sweepstakes call centers in Costa Rica. Using VoIP phones with a Washington, DC area code, the Browns called primarily elderly people in the U.S. and claimed that they had won a substantial prize in a sweepstakes.

Before they could collect their winnings, victims were told to wire a refundable insurance fee to Costa Rica. Upon receiving the money, the Browns and their co-conspirators called the victims again, claimed that the prize had increased and more money would be required.

They continued to call until the victim ran out of money or realized it was a scam.

In total, the Browns scammed about $840,000 out of hundreds of victims.

Scammers continue to use this ploy to steal money from unsuspecting people. Those that have been contacted by a scammer should contact the North Carolina Attorney General's Office.