CAPE ELIZABETH — FairPoint Communications and Maine law enforcement agencies say a telephone scam originating from Jamaica has bilked elderly residents in northern New England out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

FairPoint said Wednesday that con artists are calling from a Jamaica area code and telling their victims they’ve won a Jamaican lottery or a car but need to make a payment to cash in.

Officials say the perpetrators have called some victims hundreds of times to squeeze as much money out of them as possible.

The company and the York County Sheriff’s Department have launched a campaign called “Beware: Scams from Area Code 876” with tips to prevent phone scams. The website is .

FairPoint is the largest landline telephone and Internet company in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.

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