SoCal Man's Parents Send Thousands to Jamaican Scammer

By Jennifer Bjorklund
|  Sunday, May 29, 2011  |  Updated 8:30 AM PDT
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Jennifer Bjorklund reports on a Van Nuys man who tried to stop his parents from giving money to a Jamaican Scam Artist

Jennifer Bjorklund reports on a Van Nuys man who tried to stop his parents from giving money to a Jamaican Scam Artist

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It's a new twist on an old scam -- the Nigerian prince who has an inheritance for you? Well, now he's a Jamaican who has lottery winnings for you, if only you will pay a processing fee. And the scammers are not operating overseas anymore; there's evidence they're here, and they might not be after your money, but they could be preying on your parents.

Shay Godwin is a session drummer who started to get a beat on something happening to his parents all the way across the country; his dad was trying to pay a processing fee to claim a Jamaican lottery jackpot.
 
"I think the idea of being able to win a bunch of money and give it to a bunch of charities makes him a little excited and he gets a little romantic about it and isn't thinking entirely clearly I think," Godwin said.
 
Godwin swung into action and contacted wire transfer services around his parents' place in New York to stop his very determined father.
 
"And I was warning them not to let him wire money and he actually did walk in to one of the places I called," Godwin said.

In all, his parents lost four thousand dollars, but that's not what's upsetting Godwin.
 
"I'm heartbroken because I know a lot of people have lost their life savings… and it could have been a lot worse for my dad and my mom," said Godwin.
 
Like a Florida woman who gave the scammers $370,000, and would have given them more because she was still convinced she'd won $7.5 million in a lottery that didn't exist.
 
Our sister station NBC Miami went to Jamaica to try to find the ones scamming her. They got some leads, but most importantly they got a pledge of cooperation from authorities there, who said extraditing lottery scammers to the United States will stop the scammers cold.
 
But on the U.S. end, there seems to be inaction.
 
"No law enforcement agency was any help at all and I contacted several," Godwin said.

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