HONOLULU (KHON2) — The Hawaii Department of Public Safety is warning the public of reoccurring incidents involving sheriff impersonators. Remember, sheriffs don’t call, text or email for personal information.
“Innocent people are being targeted. In at least two of the cases, people have made payments to these scammers in the sum of several hundred and even thousands of dollars,” said State Sheriff William Oku Jr. in a statement, “The Sheriff Division is initiating criminal cases for each scam incident we are notified of, and we ask if anyone has a similar encounter to report it.”
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The scammers, who claim to be deputy sheriffs, tell people to either purchase Visa gift cards and relay the numbers over the phone, or to send money through Cash App. The impersonators say this is to pay for outstanding warrants, traffic citations and fines for missed jury duty.
The scammers then tell the people to turn themselves over to the real Sheriff Division Booking and Receiving Station. In recent weeks, several people have turned themselves in. If you get a call, text or email matching this scam, call the Sheriff Division at 808-586-1352.
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Beware that many emails requesting personal info appear to be legitimate. Don’t open any attachments or links from unknown senders.