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Hawaii’s Kauai Police warn of crypto scammers extorting fines as law enforcement

hawaiis-kauai-police-warn-of-crypto-scammers-extorting-fines-as-law-enforcement
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Hawaii’s Kauai Police warn of crypto scammers extorting fines as law enforcement

Law enforcement authorities in Hawaii’s Kauai island have issued a warning about scammers posing as law enforcement to defraud cryptocurrency users.

According to the recent alert, the scammers employ deceptive tactics, calling the victims and falsely claiming they have an arrest warrant issued against them. 

The victims are then intimidated by the threat of an arrest unless they pay a fine in cryptocurrency. 

“Any such calls should be treated with suspicion. Refrain from disclosing your credit card details or any personal financial information,” said Kauai Police Assistant Chief Kalani Ke.

To convince the victims, scammers even alter the caller ID and manipulate the number that is displayed on the victim’s phone. With the spoofed numbers, victims are misled into believing that the call came from a government agency, even though it did not.

Scammers also employ real information about the victims to appear credible.

Details regarding how the numbers are spoofed or how they acquire information about the victims haven’t been disclosed.

The police department has emphasized that law enforcement agencies never demand any sort of payment over a phone call.

To mitigate such scams, Kauai police have urged locals to avoid answering calls from unknown numbers. They have also asked not to share any sensitive personal information.

“If they say they have the information and just need you to confirm it, don’t hang on, hang up,” the alert stated.

Further, the authorities have stressed that a fine isn’t issued unless an individual has appeared in court, where government-imposed fines cannot be paid in cryptocurrency.

“It’s crucial to report such incidents to the Kaua‘i Police Department and remember that law enforcement agencies will never call you to demand payment of any kind,” Chief Kalan added.

The warning comes as Hawaii is making some changes to its cryptocurrency sector. The Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs of the Island state has decided that crypto businesses don’t have to comply with the state’s money transmitter laws.

As such, cryptocurrency businesses currently operate as unregulated businesses. However, they are required to abide by federal regulations such as those from the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network and the Securities and Exchange Commission.