As always, the bad guys are at it again. If you saw last week's email about the new tactics scammers are using this year, the fact that this week they're impersonating police officers should come as no surprise.
Much like a successful business, organized crime is, well... organized. They have metrics, KPI's and quotas and their numbers are down from last year. The general public has become more cybercrime savvy and most businesses have invested in better software and processes. This means that criminals have become bolder and impersonating HPD officers is just one of many new ways they're trying to get at your money.
What you need to know
1. Scammers are calling Hawaii residents by spoofing their caller ID to look like they're calling from a local police station.
2. Victims are told that he or she is wanted on a warrant and needs to either pay a fine or face legal action such as arrest and imprisonment.
3. Victims are then directed to "pay the fine" in the form of a wire transfer or prepaid debit card
What to do if you or someone you know answers one of these calls
Legitimate law enforcement agencies will never ask for payment over the phone and will always provide proper identification and contact information.
If you suspect that you're talking to a scammer, hang up right away, mid-sentence. Yes, it's okay to be rude, you're talking to a criminal.
Next, call CrimeStoppers at (808) 955-8300 or dial *CRIME from your cell phone and report the incident.
If you're nervous about sharing your personal data, you can now send anonymous web tips to www.honolulucrimstoppers.org or via the P3 Tips App available for iOS and Android.
Stay safe out there.