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HPD Warning: New Twist on Sweepstakes Scam

December 29, 2016, 12:52 PM HST
* Updated December 29, 12:57 PM
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Big Island Now stock photo. August 2016.

Hawaiʻi Island police warn the public about a new twist on a sweepstakes scam.

A 70-year-old Keaʻau woman received a phone call from someone in an 876 area code. The caller claimed the woman had won a sweepstakes prize.

The woman was suspicious that it was a scam, so the caller asked for her credit card number and said he would pay off her credit card in an act of good faith.

He told the woman to check with her bank for confirmation. The bank confirmed that a deposit to her account was pending, which alleviated the victim’s suspicions.

But it was later determined that the deposit was never completed.

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Meanwhile, the suspect called the victim again, claiming that tax and lottery laws require Hawaiʻi residents to pre-pay taxes before receiving prize winnings. He persuaded her to send a large sum of money to an address he provided.

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Police caution the public not to fall prey to such scams and not to respond to requests for information or payment that come by telephone or through the Internet.

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