Honolulu police address recent surge of phone schemes

Say you get a call telling you your credit card has been locked and you need to press one to unlock it. What do you do?

Don’t press one.

Honolulu police says it’s a scheme to get your personal information and it’s one of several the department is getting a lot of calls about recently.

“It’s been non-stop for about a week, week and a half,” said Lt. John McCarthy. “Everybody is getting robo calls, automated calls from a variety of numbers.”

The caller claims to be a representative of Central Pacific Bank and claims to have locked your debit card.

“(It says) to reactivate it or unlock the card, press one,” said Lt. John McCarthy. “Once you do that, press one, you open yourself up to giving out more personal information, either by a real person coming online, or by being queued to key in that information.”

Best thing to do if you get one of those calls is to hang up. HPD has other warnings for folks not to fall victim of other scams, like the infamous sweepstakes that requires you to pay to collect your winnings.

“One, you never entered to begin with, two you cannot enter into a gambling scheme across state or international lines,” said Lt. McCarthy. “It violates state and federal laws.”

McCarthy says the sweepstakes scams go by a number of different names. “The Spanish, the Puerto Rican, the Swedish, the French, the Canadian sweepstakes, none of them are legal,” he said. “When you think about it, they are inherently illegal.”

Bottom line, if it sounds to good to be true, it is.

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