Maui Police Warn of Scams Involving Spoof Callers
The Maui Police Department is warning the public to be on the look out for emails, phone calls, or texts from individuals claiming to represent a business or government entity that solicit purchases of gift cards or request money via a wire transfer.
The police advise the public to be wary of these scams. Police say a legitimate organization would not seek payment for a service or penalty fee with a gift card or cash.
The most recent reported ongoing scam is spoof callers claiming to be a representative of a federal law enforcement agency or local government, including the Maui County Department of the Prosecuting Attorney. The caller tells call recipients that there is a warrant or some other legal sanction pending against them.
These calls purposely spoof real phone numbers of government agencies (police, sheriff, federal law enforcement agencies, prosecuting attorneys, etc.) across the country to trick the call recipient into believing the calls are authentic. The callers will engage in these types of scam calls as a way to obtain personal identification information to perpetrate identity theft or to gain financial information to commit fraud and theft, or a combination of both.
Please note that no law enforcement or other government agency will attempt to “clear up” warrants or other legal sanctions over the phone, nor will they ever request your financial information to do so over the phone.
Police provided a list of tips to keep in mind:
- Do not provide any information to the caller.
- Do not ask them to verify their agency or identity since they will often provide official-sounding names, titles, and badge ID numbers.
- Do not contact the email/number listed/being given. Contact the organization directly via the official website of said organization.
- If you received a call/message from an individual claiming to be with a federal agency but did not answer/return the call, please report the incident to the FBI at www.ic3.gov.
- If you answered the call and gave personal information or sent money/gift cards, please report the incident to the FBI; and the Maui Police Department at 808-244-6400.