HAWAII COUNTY POLICE DEPARTMENT
OFFICE OF THE POLICE CHIEF
MARCH 10, 2003
The Hawaii County Police Department and Office of the Prosecuting Attorney are warning Big Island residents to be on guard against a telephone scam that could cost them hundreds of dollars.
The scam works this way: A victim will get a call by pager or voice mail informing him of an emergency in the family, such as a parent’s death or an injured child. The victim will be told to “return” the call to a number with a prefix of “809” — similar to a “900” call.
Once the victim calls, he will be put on hold or get a lengthy recording. When the victim receives his next phone bill, he will find he has been charged $25 per minute for a foreign call to the Dominican Republic.
The average cost of the call has been estimated at more than $100.
The same telephone scam has been used with “284” and “876” prefixes.
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