RELEASE: State Warns Businesses of Fraud Scheme Imitating State Procurement Process

Posted on Aug 13, 2018 in News Releases

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE AND CONSUMER AFFAIRS

DAVID Y. IGE
GOVERNOR

CATHERINE P. AWAKUNI COLÓN
DIRECTOR

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 13, 2018

State Warns Businesses of Fraud Scheme Imitating State Procurement Process

HONOLULU, HI – The Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA) is advising businesses to verify any state purchase requests received via e-mail.

Individuals impersonating state officials have recently attempted to make large purchases via e-mails accompanied by a fraudulent purchase order. Because the impersonators have no relationship with the Hawaii state government, vendors that allow these fraudulent purchases may have no recourse for reimbursement from the state.

A number of fraudulent attempts mimicking aspects of the state procurement process were reported over the past month. In each instance, the perpetrator impersonated a state procurement official and used an e-mail address closely resembling, but different from, an actual state government e-mail address. A fraudulent state purchase order was also presented as authorization of payment. In one case, the representative handling the transaction called a phone number left in the scheme and became suspicious when someone with a distinct foreign accent answered.

Hawaii businesses are advised not to fulfill orders from unknown individuals representing themselves as state procurement officers or administrators of a state government agency without first verifying the authenticity of the order with the actual state agency.

Impersonating a public servant and sending a fraudulent purchase order to induce payment are crimes that will be investigated and prosecuted. If you have received an order that you think may be fraudulent, please contact the Office of the Attorney General at 586-1284 and your local police department.

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Media Contact:
William Nhieu
Communications Officer
Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs
Email: wnhieu@dcca.hawaii.gov
Office: (808) 586-7582
Cell: (808) 389-2788