Local Restaurant Owner, Escambia Sheriff’s Office Warn Of Lotto Scam

March 21, 2013

When Jimmy Carter of Jimmy’s Grill in Molino received a check for $3,875 and a letter from Waterhouse Financial Services in Toronto notifying him that he had won $125,000 — his share of a $3 million prize — he knew something just did not seem right.

“We thought it was a fraudulent or scam type thing,” he said, adding that he was initially going to throw the letter away. “On top of this check that was made out to me was the logo that was on one of my things that I bought from my food distributor. That was making me think at that time that we had something that was legitimate.”

He called the  Canadian 647 area code number on the letter and was told by a man with foreign accent that he was a winner selected in the International Shoppers Lotto Powerball conducted in North America.  He was to cash the check in order to pay $1,875 in  taxes on his winnings.

“This person was telling me to deposit the check in my checking account then I would receive the additional money once I called them back again,” Carter said. Along with an employee, he decided it was definitely a scam.

“It was not true what they were saying, and it was a scam,” he said.

Escambia County investigator David Ingram said Carter’s report was beneficial, not only because it allowed the ECSO to forward the information to the appropriate agencies, but also because it provided an opportunity to alert the public about the scam.

“We have the original check, the original document which we can process for fingerprints, so there is some additional evidence we can forward to the appropriate agency,” Ingram said.

The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office offers the following tips to avoid being the victim of fraud:

○ Never pay taxes or fees before collecting winnings
○ Never send money to win money or merchandise
○ Foreign lotteries and sweepstakes are illegal in the U.S.
○ Never deposit a questionable check
○ Call your bank or local law enforcement with questions

Pictured top: Jimmy Carter hard at work at his Jimmy’s Grill in Molino. Pictured bottom inset: A scam lotto letter received by Carter. Courtesy images for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.


16 Responses to “Local Restaurant Owner, Escambia Sheriff’s Office Warn Of Lotto Scam”

  1. julia Richards on March 10th, 2014 7:21 pm

    I got the same letter today. Thanks to your article l will not be another victim.

  2. shay Ferr on December 17th, 2013 12:58 pm

    just received this check today what a scam people need to no this is just wrong.

  3. Eddie J Mck on June 15th, 2013 9:03 pm

    I got the same scam letter glad to know some people still have some smarts.These persons are shifty and heartless.Wish I knew where your restaurant was I would love to try the roast beef good luck.

  4. chris1 on March 22nd, 2013 11:21 pm

    You mean that Nigerian guy needing $10k to give me my X trillions , could be a scammer?

  5. Suzie on March 22nd, 2013 7:37 am

    After several years of marriage my daughter wanted to sell her wedding dress.
    Put it on the Craig list for $300 and in a few days got a reply from Calif that somebody was wanting to buy it. A check came in the mail made out to her and it was for $1,000. She e-mailed them and they said were buying dress for a third party and somebody must have written check for too much and for her to deposit check send them a check for the $700 and the dress. Thing took on a bad taste so went to bank where check proved to be run through on a printer and was totally worthless. Thankfully bank took check to process for FBI and had the e-mail address, etc. She donated dress to charity instead of trying to sell again. Lots of slick folks out there so we all must be aware and cautious.

  6. snoozzi on March 21st, 2013 2:38 pm

    Way to go Jimmy & Gloria!!!!! Proud of you for being observant and knowing what to do. We have an excellent Investigator in David Ingram and the ECSO. Also, keep up the excellent food – everything is fantastic!!!!!!

  7. Greg McGahan on March 21st, 2013 1:47 pm

    Rueben Sandwich is great…!

  8. Sam on March 21st, 2013 11:08 am

    Here’s the most important fact – Jimmy’s food is great!! Open face roast beef and fried shrimp are my favorite!!

    When I first glanced at this article on my phone all I saw was a picture of Jimmy and the title scam… I thought “oh no, Jimmy got arrested, where will I eat?” LOL

  9. Whitney Harris on March 21st, 2013 11:01 am

    I am so glad you caught this Jimmy – You and your wife are amazing people that this should have never happened to. & YOU HAVE THE BEST FOOD AROUND!!

  10. shake my head on March 21st, 2013 10:47 am

    @ ohhhh man. This is correct! Sort of..Canadians do not pay taxes on any lottery or gambling winnings. BUT If an American wins a lottery in Canada they are required to pay the taxes as if you had won in the USA.

  11. ohhhhh man on March 21st, 2013 9:40 am

    You dont even have to pay taxes on lotteries in Canada……right?

  12. Randy on March 21st, 2013 9:10 am

    1. sounds like a rehash of an old scheme. If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.

  13. Lynn Hoskins on March 21st, 2013 8:51 am

    Cheesburgers are the best I have EVER had! Triple decker turkey club is good too!!! Great job reporting the ever growing list of scammers!

  14. Rick on March 21st, 2013 7:12 am

    Good job reporting it, too. Philly Cheesesteak? I gotta try it out!

  15. 429SCJ on March 21st, 2013 6:16 am

    Good for you Mr Carter.

    Your Chicken and Dumplings are great! Philly Cheese Steak too.

  16. v on March 21st, 2013 6:11 am

    Thank-you Jimmy for being so alert and not falling pray to these people who take advantage off hard working people. Yeah we all wish we could get a little help every now and then but not at our expense. We all need to be careful and if its to good to be true its probably not. I hope they catch these people. Thank-you so much

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