KPD warns public of scams

LIHUE — In light of recent scam alerts, the Kauai Police Department is reminding residents and businesses to be aware of potential scams.

Recently, a report was made of a caller impersonating the Friends of Kauai Fire Department, a nonprofit organization that raises money for KFD. Chief Robert Westerman was told by a Waimea resident that someone had attemped to call and ask for money on behalf of the nonprofit. However, this is not the proper way donations are accepted.

“The Friends of Kauai Fire Department does not make phone calls to residences for the purpose of soliciting donations,” said Westerman, who is also the president of the organization. “If you receive a suspicious phone call, hang up immediately and report it to police.”

KPD urges the public to be cautious during the holidays. Scams are more apparent at this time of year when many legitimate organizations participate in fundraising events for charity. The holidays are also a time when the temptation of “free money,” which is a common tactic used by many scam artists, can be more inviting to potential victims.

Kauai police remind residents to use the following scam-prevention tips:

• Do not answer or return calls from unknown numbers.

• 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 popular 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 dispatch at 241-1711 and file an official police report.

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