Officials warn public about fake fallen officer donation campaigns

Tragedy at Diamond Head

The tragedy at Diamond Head has led to an outpouring of support for both of the fallen officers, Tiffany Enriquez and Kaulike Kalama. There have been several GoFundMe accounts created, but officials say they’re not all legitimate.

“Well sadly it’s not unusual these days for bad people to take advantage of tragic situations,” said Stephen Levins of the Hawaii Office of Consumer Protection.

GoFundMe officials have already suspended one fraudulent campaign for officers Enriquez and Kalama. The crowdfunding platform tell us they’re working on getting donors refunded.

“You can’t just get money under false pretenses it’s morally wrong and it’s legally wrong,” said Levins. “Again in Hawaii there are criminal penalties and that may come into play and civil penalties, and civil penalties are quite significant penalties they’re $500 to $10,000 dollars per violation.”

GoFundMe has confirmed two verified campaigns. One of them is organized by Enriquez’s aunt and the other is managed by a Hawaii Island correctional officer. SHOPO has created a separate donation fund with the Hawaii Law Enforcement Credit Union.

“There’s three locations, Young Street, Pearl City and Kapolei where anybody from the public can go,” said Malcom Lutu, President of SHOPO. “Just mention that memorial fund and there’s only one they can actually donate to that fund right now.”

SHOPO is also working on an online donation site. Officials say there are a couple of red flags to look for before donating online.

“There could also be misspellings like which is a big red flag, making wild representations as to what the money is going to be used for,” said Levins.

You can report any suspicious activity to GoFundMe by clicking “Report Campaign” on the donation page. If you suspect you’ve donated to a fake page you can also report it to the state attorney general’s office or the office of consumer protection.

“If someone is thinking about doing this for a quick buck and they’re going to be held accountable they could go to jail or they could have severe monetary penalties imposed on them,” said Levins.

State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers (SHOPO)

1717 Hoe Street (Kalihi): Monday thru Friday:  7:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Saturday:  8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Hawaii Law Enforcement Federal Credit Union (HLEFCU)

Main Office: 1537 Young Street, 3rd Floor (Makiki); Monday thru Friday: 7:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., Saturday:  8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Kapolei Branch: 889 Kamokila Boulevard; Monday thru Friday:  8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Saturday:  8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Pearl City Branch: 1140 Kuala Street; Monday to Friday:  8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Saturday: 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

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