New scams reported on Big Island 05-10-04

PHONE: 961-2252
MAY 10, 2004


Police report two new scams have been reported on the Big Island — one an e-mail scam and the other a telephone scam.

In the e-mail scam, from Nigeria, the intended victim receives an e-mail from a “Tony Williams” informing the recipient that an unknown relative has died and willed the recipient several million dollars. The intended victim is then asked for his or her bank account number so the “inheritance” can be deposited in the account.

In the telephone scam, from Jamaica, a “John Taylor” calls and represents himself as an official of the “International Sweepstakes Corporation.” He informs the intended victim that he or she has won several million dollars in a sweepstakes. Before the “winner” can collect his winnings, however, he must send Taylor $1,200 for handling charges. Police said the telephone sweepstakes scam is apparently aimed at the elderly.

Acting Lieutenant Greg Esteban warned residents against these and other scams designed to swindle naive victims.

“Never give out personal financial information, such as social security number, checking account number or savings account number to strangers,” Esteban said. “And never believe anyone who promises you’ll receive large amounts of money if you send him money in advance of payment.

“Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”

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