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HAWAII POLICE DEPARTMENT
SOUTH HILO DISTRICT
LIEUTENANT MITCHELL KANEHAILUA
May 18, 2007
The Hawaii Police Department is again reminding the public about numerous Internet and other scams that prey on unsuspecting individuals.
In a recent incident, the scam artist, who used an address in the United Kingdom, answered an Internet ad for a Hilo apartment and expressed a desire to rent it. The scammer contacted the apartment owners via email. He offered to rent the apartment and sent the owners a cashier’s check in the amount of $5,500, which was well in excess of the rental and deposit. He then left explicit instruction asking the apartment owners to cash the check, deduct the deposit and one month’s rent, and send the remaining balance via Western Union for his traveling expenses.
The potential victims, noting that the check looked and felt fake, checked with a local bank and were informed that the check was bogus.
The scam artist used the name "Mike Peterson." He claimed to be working for a private organization and moving to Hawaii to complete a marketing survey.
Fortunately, in this situation, the potential victims checked the authenticity of the document prior to cashing the check, so they suffered no monetary loss.
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