The Hawaii Department of Public Safety is warning the public about a recent sheriff impersonator scam.
An individual reported to the department Tuesday that a person contacted her via cell phone claiming to be with a fictitious office called the “Hawaii Department of Public Safety, State Security Division.”
The impersonator said 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 scammer also sent her a photo of a fake identification card that included a Hawaii Sheriff badge logo, the department said.
“Unfortunately, these scam artists usually target the elderly,” First Deputy Lanikoa “Koa” Dobrowolsky of the Sheriff Division said in a news release. “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.”
Officials reminded the public that sheriffs do not call, text or email people asking for personal information or to solicit payments electronically or by phone.
Residents are advised not to provide credit card information or any personal information to callers who claim to represent a law enforcement agency.
If you receive a call, text or email matching this scam, alert the Sheriff Division at 586-1352.
The public safety department offered the following safety tips to protect yourself from scams:
>> Do not open emails, attachments or links sent by text from unknown individuals.
>> Do not communicate with unsolicited email or phone text senders.
>> Never provide personal information of any sort via email or text. Be aware that many emails requesting your personal information appear to be legitimate.