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HPD Renews Warning About Phone Scams Amid Continued Reports of Fraud

October 21, 2021, 6:30 AM HST
* Updated October 21, 6:21 AM
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Hawai‘i Police Department is renewing its warning about recent phone scams amid continuing reports of Big Island residents that they have been a victim of fraud.

In recent reports, police say the suspect(s) contact the victim by phone, identifying themselves as either local, state or federal officials. The intended victim is contacted via telephone and a recorded message tells them that the Social Security Administration is investigating them and that their social security number is going to be canceled and their financial accounts locked.

The scammers are identifying themselves as federal agents and providing detailed information to convince their victims, such as fake badge numbers, fake case and docket numbers, fake federal ID numbers, and a fake telephone contact number that goes to a recorded message.

A live person then gets on the line and tells the intended victim that their social security number and information has been linked to a criminal investigation involving vehicles, money laundering, and drugs, and if the victim does not go to the bank and make a cash withdrawal they will have their social security numbers canceled and their financial accounts frozen.

The victim is told to take the cash withdrawal and visit any local store to purchase a Social Security Lock card, which does not exist. They are then told to buy other gift cards instead and send the numbers on the card via phone or text to the scammers.

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Victims have been told to purchase Western Union, Money Gram, Target, Money Pack, GreenDot, Apple/iTunes, Google, and/or Vanilla brand cards to pay their “fine” in order to avoid being arrested, or having their social security numbers suspended.

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This is a scam, and persons receiving these calls should not provide any information over the phone and should hang up on the caller.

The public is reminded to never provide any personal information over the phone or online to anyone whose identity they have not confirmed.

If you believe you are contacted by a person, either by phone or online, involved in a scam, call the police department’s non-emergency number at 808-935-3311.

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