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Public Safety Department Warns Against Sheriff Impersonator Scam

July 9, 2021, 11:18 AM HST
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A recent Sheriff impersonator scam incident has prompted the Department of Public Safety Sheriff Division to put out a warning.

On Tuesday, July 6, an individual contacted the Department of Public Safety and reported that she was contacted via cellphone by someone claiming to be with a fictitious office called the “Hawai‘i Department of Public Safety, State Security Division.”

The Sheriff impersonator stated that they wanted to send the woman four “compensation fund” checks owed to her, totaling $20,000, but first, she would have to pay a hefty processing fee. The impersonator even sent a picture of a fake ID that included a Hawai‘i Sheriff badge logo.

“Unfortunately, these scam artists usually target the elderly. They are taking thousands of dollars in life savings from them before the scam is discovered and reported. The story changes slightly, but in every instance, they are asking for money either by email or over the phone,” said Lanikoa “Koa” Dobrowolsky, Sheriff Division First Deputy.

The public is reminded that Sheriffs do not call, text or email people asking for personal information or to solicit payment electronically or by phone. Hawai‘i residents are also advised not to provide credit card numbers or other personal information to callers claiming to represent a law enforcement agency.

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If you receive a call, text or email matching this scam alert the Sheriff Division by calling 808-586-1352.

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Officials offer advice on how to protect against scams:

  • Do not open e-mails, attachments or links sent by text from unknown individuals.
  • Do not communicate with unsolicited e-mail or phone text senders.
  • Never provide personal information of any sort via e-mail or text. Be aware that many e-mails requesting your personal information appear to be legitimate.

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