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State officials warn of recurring scams to impersonate sheriffs in attempt to extort money

The Maui News

State officials are warning of a recurring scam to impersonate sheriffs and attempt to extort money from people.

The state Department of Public Safety Sheriff Division said that in recent days, several people have called to report that an individual contacted them on their cellphone claiming to be a deputy sheriff and stating they owed money for outstanding contempt warrants and traffic citations. They were instructed to bring money to clear the warrant to the department’s Administration Offices on Alakea Street in Honolulu. In some of these cases, the victim paid money to the scammers using cryptocurrency.

Sheriffs do not call, text or email people asking for personal information or to solicit payment electronically or by phone, the department said. Residents are also advised not to provide credit card numbers, bank account information or other personal information to callers claiming to represent a law enforcement agency.

Anyone who receives a call, text or email matching this scam should alert the Sheriff Division by calling (808) 586-1352.

The department also advised that residents protect against scams by:

• Not communicating with unsolicited email or phone text senders.

• Not opening emails, attachments or links sent by text from unknown individuals.

• Never providing personal information of any sort via phone, text or email. Many emails requesting personal information appear to be legitimate.

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