Police Warn of Telephone Scam 09-12-00

HAWAII COUNTY POLICE DEPARTMENT
KONA PATROL DIVISION
OFFICER WILLIAM G. SOUTHER
PHONE: 326-4208
SEPTEMBER 12, 2000

MEDIA RELEASE

Police are warning Big Island residents about a telephone scam in which the caller assures the victim he has won a large sum of money from a “Canadian sweepstakes.”

The catch is that the victim must wire the caller several thousand dollars for “taxes” on the money before he can receive the award.

Investigators said one victim in Kona was told that he had won $500,000 in the sweepstakes, but to collect the award, he would have to pay several thousand dollars in U.S. taxes.

Investigators said the victim was also telephoned by another person claiming to be a California police officer, who assured him the scheme was legitimate.

The telephone scam is apparently aimed at the elderly, police said.

Anyone receiving such a call is asked to call the police at 326-4646 in Kona or 935-3311 in Hilo.

Those who wish to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 329-8181 in Kona or 961-8300 in Hilo. The identification of callers is kept strictly confidential.

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