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Hawaii attorney general warns of bogus sex offender payment scam

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A scam targeting registered sex offenders and requesting that they wire money to fulfill obligations has been ongoing both locally and nationally for the past year, according to the state attorney general’s office.

The person calling claims to be with a law enforcement agency, and the request for payment is to fulfill sex offender registration obligations or to face arrest.

“Law enforcement agencies will not call to inform you of an arrest warrant and tell you an arrest can be avoided if payments are transmitted via wire, money card, or other means of monetary transmittals,” said the state attorney general’s office in a news release. “Furthermore, law enforcement agencies will not ask anyone for banking/personal information and make threats of arrest.”

Anyone in doubt should hang up the phone. Because scammers use burner phone numbers, they are nearly impossible to track, the office said. They may also be operating outside of the United States.

Hawaii residents should also remain vigilant of other scams during these trying times, particularly when shopping online, as well as from those offering what seem to be too-good-to-be-true opportunities by phone and text message, including bogus coronavirus-related products or phony charity donation requests.

Anyone who has been victimized by this scam should call Attorney General Investigations at 587-4373.

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