Sheriff Division warns of impersonator scam | News, Sports, Jobs | #emailsecurity | #phishing | #ransomware


A fake sheriff’s ID badge recently used in an extortion attempt is shown. DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY photo

The Maui News

The state Department of Public Safety Sheriff Division warned of a sheriff impersonator scam that is trying to extort money from call recipients.

On Tuesday, an individual told the department that she had been contacted via cellphone by someone claiming to be with a fictitious office called the “Hawaii Department of Public Safety, State Security Division.” The caller stated that they wanted to send the woman four “compensation fund” checks owed to her totaling $20,000, but first she would have to pay a hefty processing fee. The impersonator even sent a picture of a fake ID that included a Hawaii sheriff badge logo.

“Unfortunately, these scam artists usually target the elderly,” Sheriff Division First Deputy Lanikoa “Koa” Dobrowolsky said in a news release Friday. “They are taking thousands of dollars in life savings from them before the scam is discovered and reported. The story changes slightly, but in every instance, they are asking for money either by email or over the phone.”

Sheriffs do not call, text or email people asking for personal information or to solicit payment electronically or by phone, the department said. Hawaii residents are also advised not to provide credit card numbers or other personal information to callers claiming to represent a law enforcement agency.

Anyone who receives a call, text or email matching this scam should alert the Sheriff Division by calling (808) 586-1352.

The department also advised that people:

• Do not open emails, attachments or links sent by unknown individuals.

• Do not communicate with unsolicited email or phone text senders.

• Never provide personal information of any sort via email or text. People should also be aware that many emails requesting personal information appear to be legitimate.

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