HPD Warns About Telephone and Internet Scams
The Hawaiʻi Island Police Department is asking the public to continue to be aware of many types of telephone and internet scams that are circulating.
Individuals posing as employees of local utility companies and tax officials are calling and threatening to either have the persons utilities turned off for non-payment or threatening an immediate arrest for non-payment of taxes.
Police caution the public not to respond to requests for payment that come by telephone or the internet. If you are unsure that a notification from a utility company is legitimate, confirm it by calling the published phone number in the phone book and not through any phone number you receive from the call or notification over the phone or internet.
Representatives from local utility companies have commented that if anyone receives a call requesting payment for a utility bill to call the utility company first to confirm.
Police also warn of internet scams including the buying/selling of vehicles and places for rent online. It is recommended to meet in person to view the item, product or rental before sending any payment when dealing with private parties rather than established businesses.
“The community needs to keep their guard up when finding deals online or receiving telephone calls for payment,” said Sergeant Roylen Valera of the Area II Community Policing Section. “The type of scam, reason or situation may change, but the scam remains the same – getting you to pay someone over the phone or online, sight unseen. Whenever you receive this request, it should automatically raise a red flag.”
Anyone with information about any persons making phone or internet scams is asked to call the police department’s non-emergency line at (808) 935-3311.