REPORT FROM KAUAI POLICE DEPARTMENT – LĪHU’E – Kaua’i police have been notified of scammers claiming to represent the County of Kaua’i Real Property Tax Collection office in order to collect funds from unsuspecting residents. Police are advising the public to be extremely cautious when releasing personal information or sending money to unknown individuals.
“A resident recently notified us of a scam that appears to involve our office,” stated Deputy Finance Director Sally Motta. “And we want to alert the public immediately to set the record straight on how our office accepts and collects payment, in hopes of preventing people from falling victim.”
According to the report, a female Kaua’i resident was contacted by an anonymous caller who claimed to represent the county’s Real Property Tax Collection office. The caller claimed that the woman was delinquent in her taxes and proceeded to request payment along with the woman’s personal information, including her name, age, date of birth and Social Security Number.
Sensing that something wasn’t quite right, the woman hung up the phone and immediately contacted the county’s tax office. In looking up her file, the tax clerk informed the woman that not only was she current on her payments, but no one from the tax office had made any such call.
The County of Kaua’i Real Property Tax Collection office takes this opportunity to inform the public of how property tax payments are solicited and collected:
- Property owners will receive a notification in the mail reminding them of upcoming due dates for tax collection. The office also sends email reminders to those who have signed up for the email notification service.
- Payments can be paid with a credit card online at www.kauai.gov. Walk-in customers can pay by cash or check, and those mailing in payments must pay by check or money order. Only checks made payable to the “Director of Finance” will be accepted.
- Under no circumstance would a tax clerk call a property owner to solicit payment.
- Payments are never accepted over the phone.
“Be very wary of disclosing your personal information over the phone, particularly with people you don’t know,” states Deputy Police Chief Michael Contrades. “Generally speaking, if someone is soliciting your date of birth, Social Security Number, and bank account or credit card numbers, it’s a scam.”
Police praise the woman who reported this scam for her quick thinking.
“Scam artists can be very convincing,” adds Deputy Chief Contrades. “To be safe, if you are contacted by someone claiming to represent a business or agency, and are being asked to disclose your personal information, the best thing to do is hang up and call the company to verify the legitimacy of the call.”
If you suspect a scam or suspicious activity, please call the Kaua’i Police Department immediately at 241-1711.