Maui News

Maui Police Warn of Telephone Scams

April 7, 2014, 3:58 PM HST
* Updated April 7, 4:53 PM
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Maui phone scam. Graphics © Maui Now.

Maui phone scam. Graphics © Maui Now.

By Maui Now Staff

The Maui Police Department released information today to help the public protect themselves against telephone scams.

According to Maui police the two “known” and “most prevalent” telephone scams in Maui County currently include: scammers pretending to be family members requesting money; and scammers falsely utilizing the Publisher Clearing House name, requesting payment to claim a “big prize.”

“With the increase of information on the internet, scammers can obtain personal information from family blogs, genealogy and social networking sites and may be very convincing or pushy,” a department press release stated.

Department officials provided the following tips when suspicious phone calls relating to medical emergencies, sweepstakes, and banking inquiries are received.

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Emergency Medical Scams:

Department officials say that if you get an emergency medical call regarding a loved one in an accident, and money needs to be provided for medical treatment, first verify the information and location of the accident, then notify the police and request information.

“Typically in an accident, emergency medical treatment is not contingent on immediate payment,” department officials said.

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Sweepstakes Scams:

Maui police advise that you don’t pay money to collect supposed sweepstakes winnings if you get a call saying that you’re a winner.

“Legitimate operations won’t require you to pay to collect your winnings,” department officials advise. “Never wire money to anyone with whom you are not familiar. Check any unfamiliar area codes before returning calls and be aware that there are many 3-digit area codes that connect callers to international telephone numbers,” the announcement said.

Banking Scams Seeking Personal Information: 

Police say when using the telephone never provide bank accounts, pin numbers or Social Security numbers.

“If you are called by someone claiming to be a bank representative that asks you to verify information about your credit cards, hang up and call your bank directly using a valid number from a telephone book or the bank’s website.”

Police say that each year millions of dollars are lost to telephone scams. “Don’t become a victim, protect your personal information, know who you are talking to and if it seems too good to be true, it probably is,” police said.

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