Internet Scam Leads to Arrest of Puna Man, Police Seek Other Victims
The State Office of Consumer Protection reminds everyone to be wary of buying goods or services on the internet from people or companies you don’t know. An investigator with the Office of Consumer Protection’s Big Island branch recently participated in a joint investigation with the Big Island Police Department which led to the arrest of a 19-year-old Puna man in connection with an internet scam. The scam involved the sale of tickets to the recent Coachella Music Festival in California which were listed for sale on Craigslist. The supposed seller arranged for the victims to wire money to him and promised to send them festival passes and wrist bands by Federal Express. The victims wired the money as directed but never received the passes or wristbands.
The Big Island Police Dept. is asking for the public’s help in locating any other victims of this alleged fraud.
If you are thinking of purchasing goods or services through the internet:
· Don’t be pressured into making a snap decision.
· Don’t give your credit card, checking account, or Social Security number to strangers or companies you don’t know.
· Be very cautious about requests to send money right away. This is especially important when dealing with online merchants you’ve never heard of – it’s always best to deal with sites you know and trust.
· Be suspicious about requests to wire money. Wiring money is like sending cash and you have no protections against loss. Con artists often insist that people wire money because it’s nearly impossible to reverse the transaction or trace the money. Don’t wire money to strangers or to sellers who insist on wire transfers for payment.
· Know who you are dealing with. Check out the person or company with the State Office of Consumer Protection, the Better Business Bureau of Hawaii or the Federal Trade Commission before you commit to anything.
Det. Derek Morimoto – (808) 961-2380
State of Hawaii - Office of Consumer Protection - (808) 586-2630
Better Business Bureau of Hawaii - (808) 536-6956
Federal Trade Commission - 1 (877) FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357)