Police warn of new telephone scam 04-26-05

HAWAII COUNTY POLICE DEPARTMENT
EAST HAWAII CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION DIVISION
CAPTAIN CHAD FUKUI
PHONE: 961-2251
APRIL 26, 2005

MEDIA RELEASE

Police are warning Big Island residents to be wary of a new telephone scam.

In this scam, the caller identifies himself as a representative of the Verizon telephone company and informs the victim that the balance of his telephone bill is $900 or a similar large amount. The caller then offers a payment plan where the telephone bill can be deducted automatically from the victim’s bank account and asks for the victim’s bank account number and other financial information.

Captain Chad Fukui, head of the East Hawaii Criminal Investigation Division, said the call is a scam designed to gain access to a victim’s bank account.

“Never, ever give out your bank account number or other financial information to a stranger, especially over the phone,” Fukui advised.

“If you do, you stand a good chance of having your bank account wiped out.”

Fukui said the latest telephone scam, like earlier ones, is aimed primarily at the elderly because they tend to be more trusting of strangers.

“Younger people should make sure they explain this scam to older family members so they won’t be taken in,” he said.

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