Published: Mar 14, 2013 11:23 PM EDT

KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) - Jamaican officials are hopeful that new legislation will result in convictions for fraudsters behind a multimillion-dollar lottery scam that targets mostly elderly Americans.
    
National Security Minister Peter Bunting said Thursday he believes the bill targeting fraudulent transactions will result in a "vastly accelerated number of successful prosecutions" if it goes into effect later this month.
    
The bill was recently passed by Jamaica's House of Representatives. It will be taken up Friday by the Senate.
    
The Jamaican lottery scam was the focus of Wednesday hearings by a U.S. Senate committee.
    
For years, Jamaican criminals have been cheating mostly elderly Americans out of their savings by enticing them to transfer money to claim winnings from a phony lottery.
    
Some 30,000 calls are made daily by Jamaican fraudsters trying to cheat U.S. citizens.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)