May 26, 2022

LIHU‘E — Over the last two years, victims of scams on Kaua‘i have lost at least $50,000 collectively, according to the Kaua‘i Police Department.

A recent string of scam alerts has KPD reminding residents to be aware of potential fraud, especially during the holiday season.

In one case, KPD was able to help cancel a $150,000 wire transfer and return the money to the victim. But that was already after the victim had sent over $20,000 in gilft cards.

“This is just one example but there have been many more that are similar in nature,” Coco Zickos, a KPD spokesperson, said.

In one example, scammers have impersonated federal law enforcement, saying that a victim’s social security number was connected to a crime.

“To clear their name, they have to send money, usually via gift certificates,” Zickos said. “The scammers usually stay on the phone with the victims and walk them through the purchase. The scammers tell the victims to not contact local authorities or they could get into more trouble. In some cases, the scammers ask for the victim’s social security number.”

Scammers ask victims to withdraw funds to purchase gift cards to help transfer money.

“Please know that law enforcement officials would never contact someone like this and ask for…

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