Hawaii scam promises millions after death of a 'distant relative'

Hawaii scam promises millions after death of a 'distant relative'

LIHUE, KAUAI (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Kauai Police Department's Police Chief Darryl Perry is warning Kauai residents of a scam after he received a peculiar letter that caught his attention.

Perry said he got a fraudulent letter claiming a distant relative died in Spain and left a safe deposit box containing $7.8 million. The letter further instructed that he should make a claim for the box's contents in order to inherit half of the money.

A spokesperson for KPD says the letter is a financial scam circulating on Kauai.

Like similar scams, con artists promise large payouts after money is wired to the sender or phony processing fees are paid.

Perry knew the letter was phony and wants other Kauai residents to be vigilant.

"We want the public to be aware of this scam and others like it, and know how to guard against falling victim," Perry said.

Scams may come in different forms. Some involve letter via e-mail or social media, while others involve a long-term trusting relationship between the scammer and victim to be built, police said.

Kauai police are offering these tips to safeguard you from becoming a victim:

  • Do not answer or return calls from unknown numbers.
  • Use caution when responding to unsolicited calls or e-mails, or unknown individuals on social networking sites.
  • Check your bank, credit card and phone statements regularly. If you see an unknown or unauthorized charge, immediately notify your bank or service provider.
  • If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.
  • Senior citizens are popular targets for scam artists as they tend to be more trusting of unknown individuals. Responsible family members should help to keep them safe.

Anyone who suspects they may have received a phony letter is asked to report it by calling the Kauai Police Department at 241-1711.

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