CrimeStoppers and the Honolulu Police Department would like to inform the public of various scams.
TELEPHONE SCAMS INVOLVING GOVERNMENT AGENCIES
Two government agencies have been continuously identified in telephone scams.
1. INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE
2. SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION
The government does not contact individuals by phone in order to collect debts and/or threaten arrests.
Federal Government Agencies do not accept gift cards for payment of legitimate debt.
The HPD does not assist the federal government with debt collection.
There is an app that allows phone spoofing. It conceals the number of the phone being used and uses another phone number to appear in your caller ID.
It can appear to be a federal government agency or a local police department. This can also be used to imitate utility companies (e.g. Hawaiian Electric Company, Board of Water Supply) in order to collect false debts.
Do not discuss vital information with anyone who calls. Hang up and check your telephone book for the proper number of the agency identified in the call.
Contact that agency and ask if there is a problem with your account.
Understand that gift cards are not recoverable. Once the card number is given to a caller, the money can be spent, and is then not subject to a refund.
Although the gift card may be traced to the point of purchase, that does not guarantee the culprit will be identified and prosecuted.
You have to enter to win. Sweepstakes winners do not have to pay to receive their winnings. Sweepstakes programs require multiple contacts to determine a winner. You will not get one phone call advising you that you have won a sweepstakes. Again, do not give vital information to someone who has called you and do not send money, by any means, to receive your winnings.
Anyone with information about these scams is asked to call CrimeStoppers at 955-8300. The public may now send anonymous web tips to www.honolulucrimestoppers.org or via the P3 Tips App.