7-22-22 Police Warn Public About Cryptocurrency Scam

Hawaiʻi Police Department
Hilo Patrol
Lieutenant Todd Pataray
Phone: (808) 961-2213

Media Release

Hawaiʻi Island police are warning the public about a cryptocurrency scam that thieves are using to commit financial crimes.

Police report that individuals have received text messages from persons claiming to be from their financial institution stating that their bank account has been compromised. The text message urges the bank customer to transfer their account balance into cryptocurrency, such as bitcoin, until the fraudulent transactions can be resolved.

Customers are then directed to a bitcoin ATM and instructed to deposit their money, obtain a receipt, and to send a picture of the transaction to the person claiming to represent the bank. The information on the receipt contains account information that scammers can use to electronically steal money from the person’s bank account.

Hawai‘i Police Department reminds the public that:

  • Cryptocurrency is not backed by the government and is not an approved U.S. currency.
  • Cryptocurrency funds are not regulated and typically are not reversible once removed.

The public is advised that if they receive such a text message, they should report it to their financial institution and contact the police department’s non-emergency line at (808) 935-3311.

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