Top schemes Hawaii residents fell for in 2019

Local News

HONOLULU (KHON2) — The Better Business Bureau gathered tentative data from its 2019 scam tracker.

So what scams are Hawaii residents falling for the most?

The top scams of 2019 in Hawaii included phishing, online purchases and employment scams.

The Better Business Bureau says local residents lost over 14-thousand dollars combined.

Phishing scams ranked among the top affecting the most people.

“Be careful when an email comes in or even a text message on your phone before you click, stop,” said Roseann Freitas, BBB Hawaii Marketplace manager. “If you’re not sure if it’s from that person do not assume it is. Same with emails read the, especially at work, take a picture of it and send it to your IT and ask them is this a legitimate email and they should be able to let you know that.”

Online purchase scams came in second with nearly $7,000 lost in Hawaii.

“People will click on the link and it will redirect them to a phony website,” said Freitas. “They’ll go ahead and order the item, pay for it and either never get the item or get something they did not expect. We always say if it’s too good to be true, you really need to stop and think.”

Employment scams came in third.

Always go directly to the company’s website when applying for a job and never give out personal information online.

Freitas says in the new year, education and prevention is key to avoiding these types of scams.

“In 2020 you have to be diligent you cannot pretend this isn’t happening,” said Freitas. “You need to say on top of everything that’s going on and that is educating yourself. Whether it’s watching action line for the latest updates or checking out different websites to see what scams are happening.”

If you have a concern or are interested in becoming an Action Line volunteer, give us a call Monday through Friday at 591-0222.

You can also send an email to

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