Did you get a call from area code (876)?

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Image of phoneRing, ring… you get a call from a number starting with area code (876). They call to say you’ve won the “Mega Millions” Jamaican lottery, and you could even win a car! All you have to do is pay a few thousand bucks in taxes or fees, and the big jackpot is yours.

That’s great news, right? Wrong.

Don’t send money to anyone who claims to have a prize for you. Odds are good that it’s a scam. And just so you know, playing a foreign lottery is against federal law.

A new twist: scammers are asking people to pay “taxes and fees” with prepaid cards. They tell you to go to the nearest pharmacy or a big retail store, buy a card, and call them back to read them the number. Whether you use a prepaid card or a wire transfer — once you send your money, you can’t get it back. So keep card and account numbers to yourself. Scammers use this information to hustle even more money out of you — and your accounts.

We get complaints from people who have lost A LOT of money to foreign lottery scams. Some folks have told us that they’ve been threatened with physical harm if they don’t pay the fees.

If you get a call about a foreign lottery, we recommend that you hang up. And before you do, you might want to tell the caller:

  • I never entered a foreign lottery, so I couldn’t have won
  • I never send money to someone who calls me
  • My phone number is on the Do Not Call Registry, so you shouldn’t be calling me — and I’m reporting your number  

Have you gotten a call like this? We want to hear about it. Submit a complaint at ftc.gov/complaint, or call 1-877-FTC-HELP. And learn more about recognizing and reporting lottery scams and prize scams.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Comments

Just got a call from PCH...876-366-9870... Mary Brown..( but sounded like a man) told me I won $750,000 and a 2015 Chevy Malibu. I was to go to CVS and purchase a Vanilla Pack Reloadable card for $495 so I could receive the money and car this afternoon at my house, with the media in attendance( my choice). He called back to see if i had the card yet but my husband answered and told him to knock it off, he knew it was a scam! Then Mr/Mrs Brown called my cell phone complaining about my husband disrespecting him/her! Said he didn't love me enough because he wouldn't let me get the money!! Lol I've never laughed so hard!! Told him/her to get a real job!?

I just spoke to a guy who claims to represent Mega-Millions and said I won $3.5 million and a Mercedes. He claimed he was in Vegas but the phone number I saw started with an 876 area code which turns out to be from Jamaica. This guy told me to send $750.00 to somebody in Indianapolis, IN. After reading some of these letters as well as checking out the phone number, I'm convinced this is just a scam.

I received a Call from 876-772-4800 with a guy tell me that I won the publishers clearing house and they were going to be at my house in one hour. The sad thing is publishers clearing house don't tell you when they are coming over they surprise you. Then he went on about making sure I went to western union and pay $400.00 for some certification. He wanted me to do something with this name ( trabis thomas jamaica ww.i ) at western union. Sorry if its wrong had a hard time understanding him. I kept telling him i know that this a scam. He kept calling back so i started to do different accents. After the fourth he realized it was me and stopped calling.

The government (NSA, FBI, etc) is watching every phone call in the country. They have capabilities we can not even imagine. We pay BILLIONS in taxes so they can do this. Why can we not get something for our money regarding this. If the President told them to do something about it, they could.

Since the government is powerless to stop this foolishness, is there any way to start a senior citizen's group where all of us could send $10 to $25 for a fund that would pay returning combat veterans to seek out and destroy the vermin? Maybe AARP?

Sounds like a plan! One day I received 17 phone calls. I use my phone for my business but had to turn I off. When I powered up 5 or 6 hours later, two calls were competing as it was connecting. I've told them I will not send them "one sweet cent" and they are wasting their time and mine but they are harassing me daily. I do block their calls but have no idea where they got my number or home address as I always make up fictional info. They seem to be calling me from hundreds of different numbers. With accents like they have I'm darn shore they have only been "Larry Wilson" for maybe the last 2 minutes. So I'm with you!

A man has been calling me for weeks about a Lottery winning sweepstakes and I have told him not to call me anymore. Now he calls and when I say Hello, he starts talking FILTHY talk to me, of course I hang up, but he keeps calling back, just today I got two calls from him, he says his name is Mark Rosenberg or Rosenburg, I'm not sure of the spelling of his last name, I now have his number and I'm getting ready to report him to my phone company and also have my Son call him and have a talk with him too, and my Son will not be very polite to him either..........So, if anyone is constantly getting calls from him as I am and hearing this FILTHY talk, you def. need to report him.......This is the number I have for him...1-876-543-3283....check your caller ID for this number and beware.

When you get illegal calls or robocalls, it's best to ignore them. Don't interact in any way. Don’t press buttons to be taken off the call list or to talk to a live person or call back. That just leads to more calls. 

hese are useful details for a complaint.  Please file a complaint with the FTC and describe what happened. It’s important to submit a formal complaint because investigators from all over the country use the FTC's database.

+1 (876) 584-8833 Jamaica How have they got my number I live in united kingdom so they shouldn't have my number cause I didn't recognize the number and none of my friends or family live in Jamaica I didn't answer it

Just got a phone call from the same area code. Do these people think I'm stupid? I would have loved to stay on the phone with this stupid female, but for some reason, I thought that there could have been a way she would steal information just from being on the phone. Next time, I'll engage in a really long phone conversation just to shut them down and call them out as frauds.

My 91 year old aunt was scammed by these scrum bags. They should be prosecuted. I am outraged that no agencies are working on this. Collectively they are stealing millions.

yes my husband believed this scam. he hounded me for 4 days "what if it's real." he sent them 60 dollars plus a 200 dOlla phone bill. I have cussed him out. told him the Internet has a scam website and his names on it. the phone calls continue. I just sent him a cpl articles about his scam through email. I can block his numbers on my phone. unfortunately my husband cant.I'm sorry to those who believe it. it's not that ppl are stupid like my husband they are desperate. the idea of having a little easier life takes over reality. we didn't loose much, I just want the calls to stop

Please report this to the federal trade commission. Web site is on this site. Please. Everyone should be reporting this so officials will take action.

I just received a call from 876-381-4458. I told him that I could not believe he thought I was so stupid as to believe his claim that I won $164 million, and that he was so evil to try and scam me. Wow, I hope he was not legit, lol.

My Nana was scammed by these people, she sent 4300.00 and then she was found dead in a ditch closer to her house. The last person she talked to was this scammer!!!

I just got a call from "Dave Sayer" who seemed to have a hard time remembering his own name. Claimed he was from PCH and I'd won $250,000. I got the number 876-594-3413 from him and immediately googled Mr. Sayer and the phone number. It's a scam. Creep.

Frankly the "Do not call registry" is gutless and useless as it doesn't work on calls by scammers outside the jurisdiction of the U.S. government. What is needed is a petition to the government to require landline phone services to provide wildcard blocking as part of their basic call-blocking service. This would allow easy blocking of number blocks or entire area codes. (At least cell phones provide this now.) One shouldn't need an overpriced aftermarket screening device for a landline when the phone companies themselves could implement this with a modest change in their routing software at relatively no cost.

Just got a call from "Agent John Walker" claiming I was "a lucky winner and would receive $850,000 in prize money plus a 2015 convertible in my choice of black, silver, or pearl white." This was laughably improbable but since I had entered a few real sweepstakes, I decided to stick with it for a bit to see where it went. When I tried to verify some information (before giving away the stuff he asked for which was leading up to a credit card number I'm pretty sure) he tried to use the scare tactic of getting frustrated and swearing up and down that he wasn't lying, he had a real job and a wife and kids to take care of and being offended that I was implying that he was trying to take something from me. I never said that; I remained polite and asked him for a few more details and a website I could go to. He told me to "just type in US Megamillion" and I would find what I was looking for. When I responded that several lottery websites showed up and asked him for a specific website he again resorted to the "I'm sorry you're wasting my time" bit. He used "Donald J Trump" and "promotion" and also "LTPC" (which after some questioning I found out it stood for Loyal Tax Paying Citizens) as other details in this obvious scam. Mainly, I reminded myself that I had a phone with a red button to push at any time and that you don't get something for nothing. I was surprised at the emotional tactic of accusation, and haughtiness. I regret even giving him my name.

My 84 yr old dad got a JAmaica call asking for money to deliver publishers clearinghouse prize of 2.5million. He played along for a bit then told them they were frauds and hung up. They called him back and left message on answering machine stating they were honest and to call them (876 Jamaica) if he wanted to donate the money to a charity. He then received a third call from someone claiming to be with Better Business Bureau who was vouching for the honesty of the previous caller!

Ok so my bf just got a call from 8765453659 saying he won 3.5 million from pch and a Mercedes blah blah... what I'm confused about is how they were planning on scanning us. They said they were in route to our house to deliver a check and the car and needed directions. He asked where they were and they replied we just got off the highway and are getting gas. He asked how he would've gotten entered into the sweepstakes and they told him through our phone yadda yadda. I'm still confused how they were planning on getting us to send them money by telling us they were up the street.... hmmm guess I'll never know

Exact same scam on my Father (several times I'm sad to say) and likewise I don't understand. When they don't show up...it should be over right? The latest scam was even harder to understand. They told him to call his credit card (they never asked for his card number) and give his credit card company a bank account number that the "scammers" gave my Dad. He was to tell the credit card to transfer $1000 to his account and they did! This was money given him so he could pay "attorney fees". So he overnighted an "attorney" $1000! Of course he did not win anything and surprise, surprise... that $1000 credit card payment reversed about 10 days later! Quite sophisticated.

Got the same call today from 8763250258 from a guy saying he was Tony Howard from PCH and that I won 2.5 million and a Mercedes. The amount changed in the call to 2 million. He asked if they could come over today and pick me up to fill out paperwork and claim my prize. He also asked if i wanted the awarding of prize public or private, i said public lol. He wanted me to pay a fee today. I told him I had 30 dollars to my name and he said I could get another 30 from someone and only pay 60 and someone would sponsor the rest. He wanted to know if I was employed. Nope, I am a homemaker. He sounded disappointed. I told him to let me ask around for the other 30 and he told me not to tell my friends why I was asking for money he wanted me to call back at 8764012416. He has blown up my phone about 5 times since I didn't call back. Noticed they called on a Sunday when all the consumer protection places and real publisher's clearing house offices are closed.

Just received repeated calls from 876-464-0681. I told him wrong number the first two times. He aggressively called me back. I blocked him. Man's voice with strong accent. He said that he was calling about a sweepstakes.

I text'd him link to this website and to the FTC page to file a complain if he persists.

I am very careful with phone calls and never answer any that I don't recognize. Today a call came from an 876 number. I immediately recognized it and am actually waiting for a call from Jamaica so I answered. The guy on the end knew my name, but I could tell immediately without listening to his line that it was a scam call just be the sound of his voice. He asked for me and I said she wasn't home and why are you calling from Jamaica? That threw him and I hung up after I told him I did not want to talk to him. I travel to Jamaica every year at least two or three times a year and I am surprised about this scam. I love Jamaican people. They are honest, hard working and loving people. These men should be ashamed of themselves for giving Jamaicans such a bad rep. People. Do not fall for these scams. No one gives money away. Never give anyone any personal information about you on the phone. Never send anyone money. You are throwing it away. Do not expect the FBI or the CIA or the KGB to do anything about this. These guys are out of the country and even if you do get a US area code there are ways they can patch in from offshore. Be smart and protect your older loved ones by warning them about phone scams. And by the way, 876 is the area code for the whole island, not just Kingston.

I jus got that call and I told them I wanted to see for myself the vehicle but they kept putting it off and they kept calling asking me to send $200 in western union or money gram of course I didn't I kept making up numbers for the money transfer and they called back and told me I'm making up numbers and lying to them I told them the same thing that they are lying to me and he got offensive and angry and started cursing at me and calling me filthy names but yes I tried to get scammed and told him off and they never called back

Recieved call from 8765803283 spoke to the guy in spanish after a few times of him trying to get me to speak english. He said in english this one is not goin to work and hung up

I've noticed with Verizon that I've been getting all kinds of BS calls. Can't help but wonder if my number is being sold or passed on. The only people that have my number is family & that's it!! Everyone else calls home phone & I only use cell to call family.I've received 5 calls all from the famous 876 Jamaica area code & I've blocked them all! Today I'm going to Verizon & finding out what's going on! Here's the number that called me: (876)467-3922.

If you found out what to do let me know.thank you

I've put in complaints to the FTC & the calls are still coming from 876 all kinds of #s. I've got caller ID on my phone & the next time they call , I'm going to try blasting a loud whistle in the phone. Wish me luck !

Be careful about calling the number as well. When I did an online search I read it would be billed as an international call with no warning since Jamaica only requires a "1" for long distance calls

Received a call from 876-869-8054 today. I didn't answer and "they" didn't leave a message. I've never been to Jamaica and I don't know ANY JAMAICANS!!! SCAM!

876-8839501 just received a call from them. For ONLY $285 I can receive my prize of $985,000 and a car! I'm now blocking that number

I got a call today at 10:30 AM said publisher's clearing house Bob Chase this is 6/10/2015. I was going to meeting and I hung up so did not get complete spiel. This needs to be stopped.

Got a call from 876-591-2313. Supposedly I have won $6.5 million dollars. I don't know how I ever got so lucky! So I let him continue to talk. He said his name was David Price (but had a very thick Jamaican accent). Despite my concerns, I let him continue. Then he tells me that he needs to send me over to the "Prize Manager". Holy cow...this just might be real! He gave me a package number and everything. Now I am talking to the "Prize Manager". He informs me that I have also won a brand new 2015 Mercedes Benz. I can't believe how much I am winning! So I listen to this "Prize Manager" tell me the same thing about 5-6 times. He tells me that an attorney by the name of Mary Smith will be giving me my check at 12pm today. He asked me if I wanted a camera crew there or if I preferred a more private setting. I told him private would be best. He starts telling me all the same info for the 6th time...I interrupt him (this story is about to get good)..."is it ok if I have a policeman with me?" I asked. "you have nothing to worry about, this is 100% guaranteed, and legit" he says. I simply tell him "I'm sorry, is there a problem with my brother attending this transaction? He is a policeman and I just want him there." Instantly he backtracked and now agrees that this would be ok. Here's where the story turns. He starts telling me about some customs fee that needs to be paid to release the funds. Mind you, I have pulled up the PCH page on my web browser, and I am completely aware that this guy is trying to scam me. I asked him "why are you playing games with me?" He says, "this is no game, this is 100 percent guaranteed, yada, yada, yada." He tells me "this is what needs to happen"...I interrupt, "no, what needs to happen is you need to shutup and get off my phone because you are a liar and a con artist" He says, "you need to shutup and get off my phone". I exclaimed "you called me!...And besides, the only reason I have let you talk to me this long, is I figured if you were on the phone with me, then you weren't trying to scam money out of someone else's mother, father, grandmother grandfather, ect." He hung up before I could finish my sentence. Don't be fooled by these people. They are !00% guaranteed to take your money and you will never get it back. Here's the link to the FTC page where you can read how to protect yourself. consumer.ftc.gov/blog/did-you-get-call-area-code-876 Have a great day folks, and remember, if is sounds to good to be true, it more than likely is.

I have a new friend he is from Jamaica his named Joe Franklin he is so cool. He told me I won money. $2.5 million. I was so excited. He said that the UPS driver and Mary Jones would be bringing me my money first thing in the morning. I told him that I was so excited and that I could not wait. He asked me to send him $250.00 to secure my package from UPS. I explained I did not have that kind of money. I told him that I would send him one dollar and tomorrow when they bring me my millions I would send the rest. Now Joe is mad at me and does not want to talk anymore. He called me stupid and suggested I get a hearing aid. I have his number on my caller ID so I called him back. He does not want to be my friend. Whats up wit dat ???

Please report this to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint, so the information goes into the database law enforcement uses for investigations.

Received a call today (06/28) number that popped up on my cell phone was 876-572-6153. Only info that came up said "Jamaica". Well, I already know I have absolutely no reason to be getting calls from there. I have been there once on vacation, 13 years ago ( as a minor) so yeah, no legit reason to be getting a call from there. I looked at my husband and laughed. Jamaica? Yeah, right. I hit the ignore call button and I ALWAYS lookup numbers I don't recognize online. Which is how I got here. I may need to have a little fun with them before I block the entire area code though.

I have been getting calls from the 876 area code for over a year. I've recorded all dates and times and so far, they have called from fifteen different numbers. The first day they called me, they tried seven times to reach me. I will not answer calls from unfamiliar numbers. I have tried to find a way to report this and stumbled upon this site. I'm hoping this will put an end to the calls and also find and prosecute these heartless, scumbags. They are nothing more than theives and I'm not so vulnerable that I would fall victim to their scam.

Today, 7/3/2015, I received a call from 876 528 3098 telling me that I had won I don't know what lottery buying at Walmart or Walgreens, and they would come to my home today. I told them it was OK, and then, they started asking me questions as "Are you married?" and I told them I would not answer questions on the phone. So, they hang up and did not call me again.

One of my patients called me on July 4th to tell me that she was scammed. Unfortunately, a man named John Luther from 876-896-2257 called her and told her that she won about $5 million dollars and a Mercedes Benz. He called her multiple times and it seems that he befriended my poor, patient - who is elderly, isolated and lonely and to top it off, has some mental health issues. She fell hard and fast for this and sent the man $1150 - right when her rent was due and then she had nothing to pay her rent with. I had the police come out today to file a report and I called the bank to see if we can get some of the money back. Since she wrote a check and the check has been cashed, she is out of luck. Now she is so depressed she is almost despondent. We can all say that we will never fall for a scam but our frail and lonely seniors are at risk and I have met many who have literally sold the family farm. Not only did he promise the car and the money, but to get her a house to park her car and also be her "boyfriend." I'm so sad that there is nothing more that I can do for her except support her through her grief of losing the money and help her understand that this was a mistake and not to do it again. By the way, she was instructed by Mr. Luther to mail the check to Gregorio Pilos at 1710 Glenwood Ave., Apt. 3, Joliet, Ill, 60435.

If the scammer has your patient's check, he has her bank account number and all the personal information she had printed on the checks. She can contact the bank and ask how to protect her account, in case the scammer tries to withdraw money using the account number.

If she gave out her Social Security number when she talked to the scammer or had it printed on her check, she can go to identitytheft.gov for tips on what to do to protect her credit records.

Please file a report with the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint. You can also contact the state Attorney General in your state and in Illinois, where the scammer seems to be based.

We have a special set of information for older adults in our Pass It On campaign. You can print out fact sheets, or order them in bulk (for free) to share with people. To place a free bulk order, go to ftc.gov/bulkorder and search for Pass It On material.

i JUST GOT A CALL FROM THIS NUMBER TO MY PLACE OF EMPLOYMENT ON MY WORK PHONE. MAN SAID HE WAS CALLING FROM PUBLISHERS CLEARING HOUSE. TOLD HIM THIS IS A BUSINESS AND TO NEVER CALL HERE AGAIN. I CALLED THE NUMBER BACK AND IT WENT RIGHT TO VOICEMAIL. GREETING DID NOT IDENTIFY THIS NUMBER AS BELONGING TO PUBLISHERS CLEARING HOUSE. THOSE CALLS USUALLY COME FROM A CALL CENTER. REPORT ALL CALLS FROM 876-358-0307

The FTC really needs to offer some help on this scam upon the elderly! It is so widespread that it should be worth their time to help! It's easy to say "don't pick up" but my 85 year old father does pick up and thinks he can outsmart them. He, along with many others, cannot be reasoned with. He has always been a smart business man and full of integrity. So he trusts these people when they sound like his best friend and tell him they can tell he is a great business man...really play to his ego. It's caused him to be sneaky and deceptive because he knows we don't "believe". He has sent several thousand dollars and though he never receives anything, he will believe the next guy that calls tomorrow. He thinks there really is a prize. The FTC needs to offer a way to stop international calls. There is NEVER a reason my father needs to speak to someone in Jamaica or any other foreign country for that matter. I can block calls from anyone in the USA on his phone but international scammers get a free pass to prey on the elderly and no one will help. How can I start a petition for people to be allowed to block 876 or other area codes when they are a nuisance? It just can't be that hard!

The FTC's Pass It On has information designed for older adults. You can print the fact sheets about prize scams and share it with your father, or invite him to view the site online. You can also order print material at bulkorder.ftc.gov.

Bridget, thank you for your response and I do not in any way mean to be rude, but if you re-read my comment you'll see that we've talked to him plenty. Also, I have printed all of the FTC scam info for him which he promptly threw in the trash. Again, he can't be reasoned with and is not completely in his right mind. I truly hope you never deal with this situation and it's clear you haven't had an elderly relative involved to understand the frustration and extent of the problem which actually could be easily remedied with an international call blocking option. Per your comment below, his phone company (one of the big 2) does not offer international blocking options and says there is nothing they can do! Can block U.S. calls but foreign countries get a free pass (which I also said) and know how to use it to take advantage of the elderly. In all earnestness I would like to know how to contact someone who has the authority to allow or work with phone companies to block international callers. Sorry to repeat myself but the replies did not indicate understanding. Any direction on who to contact would truly be appreciated.

I posted a comment earlier but it has not appeared yet. The 876 calls are a HUGE problem. I use to report the specific numbers but found out it's futile. My Father has received calls from at least 50 different 876 numbers. Apparently there are a "mega million" of them involved. The FTC together with wireless and land line phone companies should offer an option to block foreign area codes. Even if it is for a monthly fee, it would be worth it to protect the many families who are affected by these scams. And wouldn't our government benefit by keeping the millions lost by American citizens to these foreign scams in our economy's circulation? There has to be a solution and some help that can be offered other than this venting page. Maybe the FTC only deals with fraudulent practices in our country (all of these scams have an in-country connection where you mail your money, etc...) but PLEASE direct us/me to the proper authorities for assistance with this problem that has become such a burden to my family.

The FTC works with consumer protection agencies in other countries to improve consumer protection. You can submit complaints about calls coming from outside the US to econsumer.gov. Contact your phone service provider to see if it offers additional blocking services.

I will definitely try the econsumer.gov link. Thank you. The phone company said they did not have international call blocking capability. It would be such a simple and useful option.

I’m sorry for your frustration. If your father has a traditional landline, you might consider switching to a VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) service. New technologies can offer more services, which may allow you to block incoming international calls. Also, if you search online shopping sites for “call blocker” — you’ll find a variety of products you can buy for your landline, along with reviews about how well they work. Hope this helps.

All options have been pretty thoroughly investigated. They live in a rural area and have few options for call blocking on their land line but have utilized all services available. However his cell phone is the problem. They know his schedule and call him at dialysis. I think my concern is not being made clear somehow. I don't understand why mobile phone companies do not offer an easy solution for blocking international calls, even for a fee. I'm absolutely positive they have this capability and if you read about these scams online, you'd understand what a helpful solution this would be for thousands of families whose elderly relatives are gullible and an easy target. My father needs and has a simple phone (not a smart phone) because he does still drive and such so we wouldn't take his phone away. And if I thought our situation was unique and isolated I'd just let it go. But I can literally find hundreds of stories just like ours online and know they represent hundreds more. These foreign scammers have to be amazed themselves at their easy access to prey on the elderly with nothing being done to stop them, How can we petition or move forward with that?

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