Kauai News

Police: Beware of COVID Scams

Posted March 1, 2022, 6:30 AM HST ·Updated February 28, 5:05 PM

The Kauaʿi Police Department is reminding residents to continue to be aware of potential scams.

Police have received recent reports of Covid-related scams whereby victims end up disclosing their credit card information.

Scammers are sending texts that appear as if the messages are from the United States Postal Service. The message indicates that the COVID test kits the victim may have ordered are being held at the post office. The message asks the victim to click on a link for further information. After clicking on the link, the victim is told they need to pay $3 to have the kits sent to their homes. The victim subsequently provides their credit card number which the scammer, in turn, steals to make other purchases.

“Scammers continue to become more and more savvy with their tactics,” said Investigative Services Bureau Assistant Chief Bryson Ponce in a press release Monday, Feb. 28. “Even though our kūpuna remain especially vulnerable, scammers are learning new techniques that seem legitimate and can easily trick anyone if they’re not paying attention. Please remember that the USPS would not reach out to you in this manner and it’s unlikely that any legitimate organization or business would ever do so. It’s best to err on the side of caution and vet anything of this nature before providing your personal information and, in this case, your credit card number.”

The following are a few more useful scam prevention tips:

Do not answer or return calls from unknown numbers.

Be wary of suspicious payment methods.

Use caution when responding to unsolicited calls or e-mails, or unknown individuals on social networking sites.

Check your bank, credit card and phone statements regularly. If you see an unknown or unauthorized charge, immediately notify your bank or service provider.

If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.

Senior citizens are often targets for scam artists as they tend to be more trusting of unknown individuals. Responsible family members should help to keep them safe.

If you suspect a scam, please file a police report at https://www.kauai.gov/KPD-Online-Reporting.