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The state of scams in Hawaiʻi and how to protect yourself from fraud

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Chelsea Beck

It is National Consumer Protection Week. It’s a time set aside by federal and local governments to help people understand consumer rights and learn to avoid fraud and scams. The Hawaiʻi Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs is the state agency tasked with educating consumers and enforcing laws that protect them.

The Conversation’s Russell Subiono sat down with DCCA Director Catherine Awakuni Colón to talk about the pandemic’s impact on fraud, and what resources are available to keep you safe from scams.

The DCCA is wrapping up a virtual Consumer Education Fair, and Colón said the free sessions can help protect consumers from identity theft, fraud schemes, and other scams.

She said it’s information every consumer can use to protect themselves, because scammers aren’t just targeting seniors.

"Millennials equally have the potential to fall prey to scams," Colón said. "So they will fall for different kinds of scams, like they will fall for those kinds of paycheck scams of, 'I will hire you to start this new job' and 'You buy these products,' or whatever it is. And then I will give you a paycheck, you deposit it, it bounces after you pay out monies to another company. So I think that we have to be mindful of these kinds of scams, irrespective of what your age is."

The department’s virtual Consumer Education Fair continues today through Friday. Click here for a list of events.

Click here for the Federal Trade Commission's Consumer Information website.

This interview originally aired on The Conversation on March 9, 2022. The Conversation airs Monday through Friday at 11 a.m. on HPR-1.

Russell Subiono is the executive producer of The Conversation. Born in Honolulu and raised on Hawaiʻi Island, he’s spent the last decade working in local film, television and radio. Contact him at
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