Hawaii News

Kaua‘i police warn community of fundraising phone scam

Listen to this Article
2 minutes
Loading Audio... Article will play after ad...
Playing in :00

The Kaua‘i Police Department is warning of a phone scam that involves callers impersonating police to ask for money donations.

In the scam, the scammers ask potential victims to donate to a fundraiser for the Kaua‘i Police Department.

“If you receive one of these calls, do not donate money or give out any personal information — just hang up,” said Assistant Chief Kalani Ke. “I encourage anyone who receives this type of scam call to immediately report it to the Kaua‘i Police Department as telemarketing fraud and block the number if possible. Our kupuna are disproportionately affected by scams of this nature and it is completely unacceptable that individuals are attempting to take advantage of hardworking people.”

Keep in mind a few best practices from the Federal Trade Commission for screening for legitimate charities:

  • Don’t let anyone rush you into making a donation. Scammers rush you so there’s no time to research their claims or think it through.
  • Don’t trust your caller ID. Technology makes it easy for scammers to fake caller ID information. Calls can look like they come from your local area code, or from a specific organization, even if they don’t.
  • If the fundraiser says you already pledged, stop and check. They may lie and say — in a phone call or a mailer — that you already pledged to make the donation, or that you donated to them last year. They think that means you’ll be more willing to donate.
  • Listen carefully to the name of the charity, write it down and then research it. Some scammers use names that sound a lot like other charities to trick you. Do some research before you give.
  • Watch out for sentimental claims with few details. Be suspicious if you hear a lot of vague sentimental claims, for example, that the charity helps many families that can’t afford cancer treatment and veterans wounded at war who can’t work, but don’t get specific about how your donation will be used.
  • Don’t donate with a wire transfer or gift card. Anyone asking you to donate this way is a scammer.
  • Sweepstakes winning in exchange for a donation? Nope. If someone guarantees you’ll win a prize or contest if you contribute, that’s a scam. You won’t win anything, and your donation money will go to a scammer.

Remember, the Kaua‘i Police Department does not call private citizens requesting money. Never respond to unsolicited requests for personal information from unknown callers.

“All reports are taken seriously and thoroughly investigated. We greatly appreciate the community’s help in remaining vigilant and reporting these kinds of fraudulent calls,” said Chief Todd Raybuck.

Immediately report any suspicious calls to the Kaua‘i Police Department by contacting Dispatch at 808-241-1711.



Sponsored Content

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Stay in-the-know with daily
headlines delivered straight to your inbox.


This comments section is a public community forum for the purpose of free expression. Although Kauai Now encourages respectful communication only, some content may be considered offensive. Please view at your own discretion. View Comments