2 men in Collier County accused in nationwide lottery scam
Many people all across the country have lost their jobs due to the coronavirus, but most aren’t creating scams to make up for their lost wages. That’s what authorities said Dillion Johnson and Neville Taylor did.
The two men came to America from Jamaica to work at a country club in Naples, but once they were laid off due to the virus, and since the men couldn’t return home, they began their “Jamaican Lottery Scam,” the Collier County Sheriff’s Office said.
The scam has affected people all across the country including Luddy Scotka, 83, and his son Steve, in San Antonio, Texas. “He’s got dementia, the beginnings of Alzheimer’s, and not knowing, being naive about it, he gave them some banking information,” Steve said.
Even Steve has answered some of the calls Taylor and Johnson are said to have made. “They make it sound so good and that he just needed a little bit of money to get the big prize … in order to collect they had to play such and such.”
The suspects even used aliases. “I answered several phone calls, in fact, they went by the name of Peter Watson … Micheal Watson, another guy would call and their stories were really similar,” Steve said.
As most scams do, they started small and built up to larger dollar amounts. “The first few were $300 here, $400 there, $250,” Steve explains, “then a several thousand dollar withdrawal.”
Deputies said the employees of the First Florida Integrity Bank noticed the two men making “suspicious” deposits and alerted the sheriff’s office.
“They wanted $7,500 to be sent to Alverado,” Steve said.
The trouble, according to Collier County Sheriff Kevin Rambosk, is “scams like this are typically perpetrated outside the investigating agency’s jurisdiction. This makes it difficult to charge the perpetrators.”
Meanwhile, Steve just feels bad for his father.
“It’s terrible man … here he is 83 years old, and worked all his life.”