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LITTLE VALLEY -- A telephone scam affecting the pubic, and especially the elderly, throughout the Cattaraugus County area has been determined to be coming from the Caribbean country of Jamaica, the Cattaraugus County Sheriff’s Office reported today.

Warning the public to ignore the calls which claim the call-receiver has won a Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes and demand the payment of a $500 “processing fee.” The person answering the phone call is told to go to a local store to obtain a money card covering the “fee.”

The “winner” is then told to return home and return the call and provide the numbers on the back of the money cards so the “sweepstakes” officials can access the money, assuring the “winner” that money will be sent back to them after the proceeding is completed. The scam is often repeated several times, unlike most phone scams that stop after one call. Residents are reminded never to give out any personal information over the telephone and to call local law enforcement with the phone number of the ‘scam” caller.