Police warn of lottery scam through mail 01-27-05

PHONE: 961-2251
JANUARY 27, 2005


Police are warning Big Island residents about a probable scam involving an alleged lottery held in Madrid, Spain.

Residents have received an official-looking letter from “La Estrella Security Company” informing them they have won 785,510 in Euro dollars as part of a larger cash prize of more than $8.6 million Euros shared among international winners.

The recipient of the letter is informed his name was selected by a “computer ballot system drawn from 19,000 names” from countries around the globe as part of an international promotions program. The letter holds out the hope the recipient can participate in “our end of the year high stake of 1.5 billion Euros International lottery 2005.”

The letter asks that the recipient keep his “award” secret until he receives his reward as “part of our security protocol to avoid double claiming….”

Accompanying the letter is a “Lottery Payment Processing Form” to be filled out and faxed back to the “Estrella” company. It includes areas to be filled in for the recipient’s bank name, the bank address and his bank account number.

Captain Chad Fukui, head of the East Hawaii Criminal Investigation Division, cautioned residents against giving out any personal information to a stranger.

Noting that police had warned the public of an almost identical mail scam in January last year, Fukui said:

“These unscrupulous scam artists frequently try to prey on the elderly because they are more trusting in others than younger people.

“Young or old, however, people should never give out personal information, especially financial information, to anyone they don’t know.

“To do so is to invite the scam artist to clean out your bank account.”

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