March 24, 2022, 12:49 PM HST
The Maui Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division said there have been reports of recent home repair and roofing scams by telephone.
The phone scammers claim your home or roof needs repair. They collect money and never return. The MPD said licensed contractors or roofers also never solicit door to door.
This is just the most recent of scams targeting Maui that residents should be aware of and avoid.
Some scams involve people receiving a telephone call on either their cellular or home phone from an unfamiliar number. The caller will say that a family member has been involved in an accident, has been/about to be arrested or that you owe money and need to pay it immediately.
In some instances, the caller will not identify themselves or tell you where they are calling from. The caller may or may not give the name of a relative. They will pretend to be a law enforcement officer, a paramedic or the IRS. They will ask for money to be sent.
How should you respond?
- Do not give out any personal information and hang up immediately
- Do not send money to anyone or agree to meet anyone to hand over money
- Pay attention to the caller ID number and, if you do not recognize it, don’t answer
Remember, a law enforcement officer will provide their name, rank and immediate call back information. If in doubt, hang up and simply contact the agency the person said they were calling from. A legitimate officer will have no problem with that.
Common scam themes:
- Free vacations and prizes
- Phishing scams (asking access to your computer for “repairs”, updates, etc.)
- Loan scams
- Phony debt collectors
- Fake charities.
- Medical alert scams targeting seniors.
- Warrants and threats of arrest (Law enforcement never demands money over the phone or agrees to negotiate a payout in lieu of arrest.)
- IRS calls (The IRS never calls anyone without first sending a formal letter and it never demands immediate payment over the phone.)
- The most recent: home repair and roofing scams
Remember the five “hooks” that signal a scam:
- They contact you asking for money.
- They dangle bait in front of you, offering a prize or easy loan.
- First you have to pay them. It is illegal for someone to require up front money for a loan or prize/reward of any kind.
- You are asked to wire or airborne money instead of mailing it to a verified official address.