FairPoint, Maine lawmakers jointly tackle lottery scams

FairPoint Communications (Nasdaq: FRP) has joined forces with Maine lawmakers to testify this week before the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging about a telephone scam targeting senior citizens in Maine and across northern New England that emerged from the Jamaican 876 area code.

On Wednesday, the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging held a hearing to investigate a growing scam that's sweeping the country and robbing many vulnerable seniors of their life savings. The telco said the scam cost elderly residents throughout Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont over $1.5 million.

Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) are co-chairing the committee.

"Our parents and grandparents worked hard their entire lives and saved for retirement," Collins said in a statement. "They should not be targeted by criminals who want to rob them of their hard-earned savings."

Collins added that "governments at all levels and across international boundaries [should] work together to shut down these con artists before their sophisticated scams exploit yet another trusting senior citizen."

These hearings follow FairPoint's move to establish an alliance with the state of Maine's law enforcement agencies to prevent a group of Jamaica-based con artists from trying to get money from the state's elderly residents.

At that time, the telco launched the "Beware: Scams from Area Code 876" campaign with an accompanying website, www.bewareof876.com, providing information on how to prevent phone scams. As a result of the national and international attention this scam caused, the Jamaican government established a task force to address the 30,000 calls made from Jamaica to the United States attempting to defraud American citizens.

For more:
- see the release

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