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State warns of impersonators making fraudulent purchases

The state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs warns businesses of impersonators making fraudulent purchase orders via fake e-mails.

Over the past month, a number of fraudulent attempts mimicking aspects of the state procurement process have been reported. In each instance, the perpetrator impersonated a state procurement official and used an e-mail address closely resembling, but different from, an actual state government e-mail address.

The impersonators have attempted to make large purchases via e-mails accompanied by a fraudulent purchase order.

Since these impersonators have no relationship with the Hawaii state government, vendors may have no recourse for reimbursement.

Hawaii businesses are advised not to fulfill orders from unknown individuals representing themselves as state procurement officers without first verifying the authenticity of the order with the actual state agency.

Impersonating a public servant and sending a fraudulent purchase order to induce payment are crimes that will be investigated and prosecuted, according to the state DCCA. Businesses that have received a fraudulent order should contact the Office of the Attorney General at 586-1284 and your local police department.

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