MIAMI (AP) — Three South Florida men have been charged in lottery scams based in Jamaica.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Miami, the schemes targeted elderly victims in the U.S. The victims were told that they had won a lottery or sweepstakes, but they first had to pay taxes or fees on the winnings in order to claim the prizes.

Authorities say the victims each paid thousands of dollars into the schemes, but they never received any money. The suspects allegedly received the victims’ money by wire transfers, cash, personal checks, money orders or prepaid debit cards.

In a statement, U.S. Attorney Wifredo Ferrer said federal authorities “will not allow South Florida to be a pipeline for these money couriers who are the lifeblood of these fraudulent schemes.”

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