If you get a call from someone claiming to be from the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii, beware. It could be a scam.

The non-profit, public interest law firm is warning the public about recent telephone solicitations asking for money from people claiming to be part of the Legal Aid Society, Office of the Public Defender, or the state courthouse.

In some instances, people are told that a case is pending involving a friend or family member, and that a monetary payment is required to pursue the case. At other times, the caller may claim to be collecting donations on behalf of a national Legal Aid or Public Defender office and may leave a toll free 1-800 number. The caller may even claim to be representing a courthouse.

In all instances, the caller will try to collect credit card information over the phone.

Other legal services organizations have reported similar scams in other states.

If you think you gave money through this phone scam, contact the state Department of the Attorney General at (808) 586-1500.

Hawaii’s Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs published Hawaii’s Fraud Prevention & Resource Guide reminding the public:

  • Do not respond to a text or call from an unknown number that is requesting personal account numbers, social security numbers or any other personal information.
  • Do not provide any personal information over the phone unless you initiated the call and are certain of who you contacted.
  • If the caller makes you feel uncomfortable, hang up the phone.
  • To reduce telemarketing calls on your home and cell phone, go to donotcall.gov or call 1-888-382-1222 or 1-866-290-4236 (TTY).

Established in 1950 with 11 offices statewide, the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii is a non-profit, public interest law firm dedicated to increasing access to justice for the state’s most vulnerable and disadvantaged people.

Donations to the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii can be made online at www.legalaidhawaii.org or by sending a donation directly to Legal Aid’s Honolulu office.