3-25-24 Police Warn Public About Phone Scams

Hawai‘i Police Department
Kona Patrol
Acting Sergeant Kyung Yu
Phone: (808) 326-4646 ext. 253

Media Release

The Hawai‘i Police Department (HPD) is warning the public of a phone scam after receiving an uptick in reports of unknown individuals calling Big Island residents posing as Hawai‘i Police Department officers or court officials.

The scammers are calling with altered caller ID numbers displaying Hawai‘i Police Department phone numbers, posing as police officers telling victims that they have outstanding warrants. The individuals then ask the victims to divulge personal information or make payments. 

While Hawai‘i Island police officers have called individuals with outstanding warrants as a courtesy in hopes that they may turn themselves in, they will never ask for personal information or payment of any kind over the phone. 

To protect yourself from falling victim to these scams, Hawai‘i Police Department suggests the following recommendations:

  • Verify the caller’s identity: Always request the full name, identification number, and contact information of the caller. Legitimate law enforcement officers will provide this information without hesitation. Verify their credentials by contacting the police department or the agency they claim to represent using publicly available contact information.
  • Refrain from sharing personal information: Avoid disclosing personal details, such as your Social Security number, bank account information, credit card numbers, or any other sensitive data over the phone unless you are absolutely certain about the legitimacy of the caller.
  • Be cautious of urgent or coercive tactics: Scammers often create a sense of urgency, coercing victims into immediate action. They may threaten arrest, fines, or legal consequences to pressure you into revealing personal information or making immediate payments. Take a step back, remain calm, and verify the authenticity of the call before making any decisions or taking action.
  • Educate yourself and loved ones: Share this information with your friends, family, and vulnerable individuals within your community. By spreading awareness, we can collectively protect ourselves and prevent these scams from succeeding.

If members of the public receive a phone call of this nature and they are unsure of the authenticity of the caller, please hang up and call police dispatch at (808) 935-3311 to be routed to the appropriate district station for further information.

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