Police say there’s a telephone “spoofing” scam occurring in which criminals use the department’s nonemergency phone number in a scheme to steal the victim’s money and personal information.
According to police, a woman received a call from a man claiming to be a Social Security officer who said her Social Security number was being used on the mainland and police would be calling to investigate.
Later that day, the woman received a “spoof call” in which the police nonemergency number, 808-935-3311, appeared in her caller ID.
The caller identified herself as “Officer Nola Green” — who doesn’t exist — and advised the woman to buy a “safe card” and to put her money onto the card.
“Spoofing” occurs when people make it appear as if their phone calls are coming from a different number. The call recipient sees the caller ID and thinks the call is from the true owner of the number, but it isn’t.
Police ask the public to be aware of callers who ask for personal information over the telephone.
As a general rule, if you cannot verify the caller’s identity or you do not know who they are, do not release any personal information to them. Take steps to verify the identity of the caller before purchasing a money card or sending money via money orders, wire or checks.
Police recommend the following tips to be a good witness: Remember to note information about the call, take notice of the caller’s accent, gender and specific words used, and verify the caller or number called from.
When in doubt, call police for clarification using the department’s nonemergency number at 935-3311.