Police Warn of Possible Telephone Scam 01-24-01

PHONE: 961-2380
JANUARY 24, 2001


Police are warning Big Island residents against a probable telephone scam in which potential victims are told that they have won a $250,000 sweepstakes. The catch is, the potential victims must send $3,500 in order to receive the sweepstakes money.

A Hilo resident reported that someone identifying herself as “Cynthia Patterson” from the “Mason and Mason” law firm in Canada had called her and told her that her husband had won $250,000 in a United States sweepstakes from the “WRS Company.”

The caller said she was calling because the fictitious law firm had tried, but failed to contact the woman and her husband by mail.

The caller then told the Hilo woman that because of the luxury tax in the United States, the law firm was contracted to assist in processing and awarding the claim. In order to complete the processing, the caller said, the Hilo woman would have to send the law firm a check for $3,500.

The intended victim offered to merely pay the luxury tax, but the caller told her she had to send the $3,500.

Hilo Criminal Investigation Section detectives are checking on the validity of the companies and have urged anyone receiving similar calls to notify the Hilo CIS at 961-2255.

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