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Insecticide scam 12-07-11

Hawaiʻi Police Department
Criminal Investigations Section, Area II
Lieutenant Gerald Wike
Phone: 326-4646, Ext. 266

Media Release

Big Island police are warning the public about a likely scam involving insecticide services being performed without prior authorization.

On November 28, police responded to a report that an 86-year-old South Kohala man had paid thousands of dollars to two unknown men after they supposedly protected his home from insects. The two men had gone to the victim’s house and, without prior authorization or an estimate for their services, cleaned insects from the eaves, sprayed what they said was insecticide and then washed the exterior of the windows. When the work was completed, they told the homeowner he owed $3,600, which the victim paid.

Police urge the public to report any suspicious business practices and not to feel intimidated into paying for services they didn’t request. Police ask that anyone with information about similar incidents call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.