Internet scammer attempts to bait Instagram user by using Olelo Hawaii

Internet scammer attempts to bait Instagram user by using Olelo Hawaii #Internet #scammer #attempts #bait #Instagram #user #Olelo #Hawaii Welcome to Lopoid

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – Solomon Alfapada was curious about a direct message that he got on Instagram a few days ago.

“When I actually looked into my hidden requests and stuff like that, I saw somebody wrote to me, but it was in ‘Olelo Hawai’i,” he said.

Experts said the suspicious message written in Hawaiian is a prime example of a scammer trying to connect with a target on a personal level.

“They’re appealing to that camaraderie that we have with each other, so if someone makes that connection with us, it does lend a little bit at the beginning to build that trust,” said Roseann Freitas of the Better Business Bureau (BBB) Hawaii.

Alfapada isn’t totally fluent in Hawaiian, but he knew enough to know something wasn’t right, starting with the first two words of the message.

“So what I got was, first of all, was ‘aloha oe.’ Which, you know, really isn’t used as a greeting” said Alfapada. The word actually translates to “farewell.”

Alfapada posted the message to his Instagram followers. Those fluent in ‘Olelo Hawai’i say it reads in a similar way to scams in English, when a foreign culprit makes grammatical mistakes.

“It was something they just threw up on Google Translate, and it didn’t exactly turn out to how it’s supposed to be,” said Alfapada.

One person we asked to translate it — from the words he could pick out — said that it claims to be from a currency trading agent certified by the World Financial Bureau who wants to help you through financially troubled times.

The BBB warns that although the DM had multiple errors, as online translation services improve, scammers will try to take advantage, learning about your culture through your online posts.

“So you’re going to see a lot of this, where if they see on some of your social media profiles that your Hawaiian or you known the Hawaiian language, then they’re going to try to talk to you in your language,” said Freitas.

In Alfapada’s case, he has an ‘Olelo No’eau — a Hawaiian proverb — on his Instagram profile.

“They, based on his profile, saw that he knew some Hawaiian, and they were approaching him that way,” said Freitas. “So I think everybody needs to be aware that they can reach to you in your own language.”

Alfapada didn’t take the bait.

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