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Police warn about prize scams via mail and email

MEDIA RELEASE

Big Island Police are warning members of the public to be aware that scam artists are still sending letters and e-mails advising people that they have won a prize.

The scam usually asks the victim to send an amount of money to someone so they can claim a much larger amount. This is a scam that has been circulating for years. In one variant, the suspect sends the intended victim a check for one amount asking that a different amount (usually slightly smaller) be sent somewhere for fees or taxes. The first check is then returned to the victim as fake, but typically not until after the victim has already sent money to the scam artist.

Police are advising members of the public that e-mails and letters that sound too good to be true almost always are. If you receive correspondence that you have won a prize from a contest that you did not enter or have never heard of, you should be very suspicious and never send anyone any money to claim a larger prize. If you feel that the letter or e-mail you get is a scam, trust your instincts.

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