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Police warn of scams seeking payments

Police are warning about scam emails, phone calls or text messages asking people to purchase gift cards to pay service or penalty fees to businesses or government agencies.

“A legitimate organization will never ask for you to pay for a service/penalty fee via gift card,” the Maui Police Department said in a news release Wednesday.

Some scams involve emails purporting to be from Amazon customer service and asking the recipient to contact Amazon fraud protection about purchases. Others appear to be IRS notifications saying someone’s Social Security number is on hold or there are issues with taxes. Some scams may also claim that someone can receive the COVID-19 vaccination, police said.

Police said recipients should look at the sender’s email address, which should have the company name of a legitimate business rather than yahoo.com or gmail.com. Police also recommend that recipients not contact the phone number given in the email and instead contact the business through its official website.

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