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HELCO Follows Up on Hilo Drop Box Break-In

January 11, 2019, 10:24 AM HST (Updated January 11, 2019, 10:29 AM)
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Hawai‘i Electric Light Company is again notifying all customers who made payments at the Kīlauea Avenue drop box between 2:30 and 10:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 14, 2018, about a security incident that may have affected their personal information.

An unidentified thief broke into the Hawai‘i Electric Light payment drop box at 1200 Kīlauea Ave. shortly after 10 p.m. on Dec. 14 and stole approximately 30 payment envelopes. These envelopes are each likely to have contained a payment slip (with the customer’s name, address, and utility account number) and a check (with the customer’s name, address, and bank routing and account numbers).

No arrests have been made, but security staff is working with the Hawai‘i Police Department on the theft investigation. The company repaired and re-secured the drop box immediately after discovering the incident and acted quickly to improve the lighting around the box.

HELCO continues to look into other ways to strengthen the security of customer payments.

At this time, the company has no reason to believe that the thief was targeting bank account or utility account information for the purpose of committing identity theft or fraud. However, those scenarios cannot be ruled out.

HELCO takes the security of customer information extremely seriously and wants to make sure customers are fully informed about the incident and know the steps to take to protect their personal information.

Customers who made a payment at 1200 Kilauea Ave. on Dec. 14 between 2:30 and 10:30 p.m. are asked to call (808) 969-6999 to determine whether their payment was stolen.

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Affected customers should also contact their financial institution and follow their guidance for a stolen check. Hawai’i Electric Light will reimburse impacted customers for bank fees incurred to stop payment on stolen checks and will also waive late charges on utility accounts when caused by stolen payments.

Individuals should promptly and carefully review utility and bank account statements.

Contact HELCO if you notice any suspicious activity on your utility account; contact your bank if you detect any unusual activity on your bank account.

Customers should be vigilant in responding to telephone calls or other inquiries about affected accounts. HELCO will never call you and ask you to make a payment using bitcoin or prepaid money cards. Only make payments through the methods or at the locations indicated on your bill and the Hawai’i Electric Light website.

If you have questions or would like more information about this incident, call (808) 969-6999.

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