Hawaiʻi Island police are warning the public about a cryptocurrency scam thieves are using to commit financial crimes.HPD reports that individuals have received text messages from persons claiming to be from their financial institution claiming their bank accounts had been compromised. The text message urges the customer to transfer their account balance into cryptocurrency, such as bitcoin, until the fraudulent transactions can be resolved. Customers are then directed to a bitcoin ATM and instructed to deposit their money, obtain a receipt, and send a picture of the transaction to the person claiming to represent the bank. The information on the receipt contains account information that scammers can use to electronically steal money from the person’s bank account. HPD reminds the public that:
- Cryptocurrency is not backed by the government and is not an approved U.S. currency.
- Cryptocurrency funds are not regulated and typically are not reversible once removed.
Individuals who receive text messages similar to those mentioned above should contact their financial institution and contact the police department’s non-emergency line at (808) 935-3311.
Photo credit: HPD