Scam artist unknowingly targets Kauai police chief - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Scam artist unknowingly targets Kauai police chief

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Kaua'i Police Chief Darryl Perry Kaua'i Police Chief Darryl Perry
LIHUE, KAUAI (HawaiiNewsNow) -

A con artist unknowingly attempted to scam Kaua'i Police Chief Darryl Perry during a phone call in early November, and now the department has posted the recorded conversation on its website to warn the public of these types of scams.

"We wanted the public to get a true understanding of how con artists operate so they can identify when they're being conned," said Chief Perry. "While this scammer's promises are so outrageous at times it can seem comical, the fact is there are a lot of people who willingly give their personal information and hard-earned money to strangers. And once that happens, almost nothing can be done to get it back."

In Perry's case, the scam began with a voicemail message to the chief. "This is Mister Billy Richmond from the United States Postal Service," the caller said. "As soon as you receive this message call us at the company for further information on a certified cashier's check that you were supposed to be receiving."

On the recording, Perry says, "Amazing. Calling the chief of police for a scam like this. Well, let me call that number and see what happens."

What happened is that a "Peter Wallace" answered the chief's phone call. He tells Perry that he has been selected to receive a cashier's check because he had shopped recently at a local supermarket, did not owe the bank money, paid his bills on time and was a good American citizen.

"The cashier's check is valued at $250,000," the caller tells Perry.

"Did you say $250,000?," Perry asks. "Yes, I want to congratulations (sic) you to be one of our grand prize winners," the scammer says.

However, the con man tells Perry that he needs to pay one percent of the tax on the $250,000. "Five hundred dollars for the tax that you owe on the certified cashier's check," he says.

"Ok, so I need to pay your company to pay 500 dollars in order to get the certified cashier's check, ok?," Perry asks. The scammer tells him yes, and tells him to send the money to an address in New York.

The conversation is comical at times. At one point, Perry manages to get the scammer to misspell "Wallace," his supposed last name.

At the end of the conversation, the con man tells Perry, "I hope you spend your money wisely."

"Oh I will. Thank you so much," replied Perry, who never revealed himself to the con man as an officer of the law. He never sent $500, and of course he didn't get a $250,000 cashier's check.

"The bottom line is if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is," said Chief Perry. "Never give out your personal information or send money to someone you don't know."

If you suspect a scam, please call the Kaua'i Police Department at 241-1711.

A link to the entire conversation is posted on the Kauai Police Department Web site.

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