Due to recent alerts, the Kaua‘i Police Department is urging residents and businesses to be aware of potential scams. Scammers are taking advantage of the current global COVID-19 crisis to steal money and personal information, according to a news release by the County of Kaua‘i.

Among the most recent scams, according to information from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, are fake Centers for Disease Control and Prevention emails and websites. Scammers are claiming to offer information about COVID-19 and are asking victims to click on links that deliver malware to a computer to steal information.

Phishing emails have also become more prevalent, including those from scammers pretending to be official entities asking for things like charitable donations, offering airline carrier refunds, as well as fake cures and fake testing kits for the virus. This includes recent texts from scammers claiming to have offers for Costco members.

Please also note that government agencies are not sending unsolicited emails seeking private information in order to send money.

Moreover, be leery of anyone selling products that claim to help cure COVID-19, including sanitizing products and Personal Protective Equipment.

Residents are reminded to use the following 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 call KPD at 241-1711 and file an official police report. You can also leave an anonymous tip by calling Crime Stoppers Kaua‘i at 246-8300 or by visiting www.crimestopperskauai.org.

Additionally, if you believe you’ve been a victim of a scam or cybercrime, the FBI has an Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov.

For the best, most accurate up-to-date information on COVID-19, visit http://www.kauai.gov, www.cdc.gov or www.coronavirus.gov. ###