Hawaii Police Department
Criminal Investigations Section, Area I
Lieutenant Mitchell Kanehailua
July 24, 2008
Report No. C08022036
The Hawaii Police Department is warning Big Island businesses about a scam involving the use of a phone relay service.
In the scam, a phone relay operator calls and relays information for the perpetrator, who supposedly has a disability that requires the use of the relay service. It does not appear that the relay service is part of the scam.
The perpetrator orders items through the relay operator and then e-mails a credit card number and a shipping call tag to the victim-business.
In a specific instance that was reported to police, a victim-business in Hilo packaged the items, placed the shipping tag on the box and shipped the items.
In the scam, the phony customer provides a false name and address and uses a stolen credit card. The perpetrators divert the items to another location while in transit. Victims don’t find out that the transaction is a scam until the credit card company contacts them.
Police warn businesses to be careful when dealing with phone orders and to confirm with the credit card company the validity of the credit card before completing the transaction or shipping items.