Elderly victim talks about how he was scammed
HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - For Moiliili resident “Daniel,” it was offer that was too good to be true.
The 80-year-old retiree said the caller from the mainland had just told him he won $20 million in the Publisher’s Clearing House contest and all he had to do to collect was pay the federal taxes and some of the expenses.
“I was so excited. I was not sure -- am I a winner or not," he said.
After the first call in February, Daniel said the man called him every day for several weeks, convincing him to send payments by buying Amazon gift cards.
When he maxed out his American Express card, Daniel said the caller convinced him to get a new Capital One Card. He even gave cash and personal checks.
And only when he went to his bank in April, did a teller notice the scam and file a complaint with police.
“My total loss the Bank of Hawaii calculates was $68,450 ... It’s my full savings," he said.
“Daniel” said he’s willing to come forward and tell his story to warn other potential victims about these sweepstakes scams.
“A lot of the victims of these sweepstakes scams are too embarrassed to come forward,” said Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Scott Spallina, who specializes in crimes against the elderly.
Spallina said there are hundreds of cases like Daniel’s and the losses are in the millions of dollars.
“Unfortunately, we’re seeing an increase in these types of scams. What happened to Daniel is happening to a lot of people in the islands," he said.
The HPD is investigating but because the alleged scammers are on the mainland, it will make it harder to prosecute them."
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