Latest email scheme threatens to seize victims’ homes

Hawaii Island police are warning the public about an email scheme from someone posing as a real estate agent.

A Puna man received an email claiming that his home would be seized by police because of suspected illegal activities. It states that the recipient has 30 days to vacate the premises or he will face fines or jail time and instructs the recipient to contact the sender to make arrangements for moving out of the home. An attachment, which the letter claims has a “legal statement” and contact information for the real estate company, actually contains a computer virus.

The police department does not seize residential property without a court order, and citizens are not subject to criminal fines or jail sentences without going through the judicial process.

Police alert the public not to open email attachments from senders they do not know, as they often contain viruses that can infect computers and might ask for personal information that could allow the sender to steal the recipient’s identity. Police recommend deleting unsolicited emails with attachments.

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