PSD NEWS RELEASE: Sheriff impersonators, jury duty phone scam alert

Posted on Aug 10, 2016 in Latest Department News

HONOLULU – Recent Sheriff impersonator scam incidents have prompted the Hawaii Sheriff Division to put out this reminder warning. Impersonators claiming to be from the “Sheriff Department”, “Honolulu Sheriff Department” or “Sheriffs’ Office” are calling Hawaii residents to say they are wanted on a warrant for failing to show up for jury duty. The alleged scammer is offering to clear the warrant in exchange for payment by phone.

In three recent cases, the individuals received calls from people who identified themselves as Captains or Lieutenants with the Sheriffs. All of the scammers in these reports had what was described as a southern drawl or accent.  After mentioning that the individual had a warrant for failure to show up for jury duty, the caller then asked for money and told the individuals to go over to the Honolulu District Court and meet with the Sheriffs to clear the warrant.  In two of the cases, the individuals figured out it was a scam before giving any money over the phone and immediately notified the Hawaii State Sheriffs.  A third report resulted in a Theft 2 case being opened.

The public is reminded that Sheriffs do not call people about warrants having to do with jury duty.  They will NEVER ask for personal information or solicit payment over the phone.  Hawaii residents are also advised not to provide credit card numbers or other personal information to callers claiming to represent a law enforcement agency or the courts.

“This is a nationwide scam that started affecting Hawaii residents in early 2014,” said Hawaii State Sheriff Renee Sonobe Hong. “The calls appear to be random. The victims are usually scammed to pay money. We urge people to share this alert with your family and friends so they don’t become the next victim”.

If you receive a call matching this scam please alert the Sheriff Division by calling 586-1352.


Toni Schwartz
Public Information Officer
Hawaii Department of Public Safety
Office: 808-587-1358
Cell: 808-683-5507
[email protected]