Hawaiʻi Island police are warning the public about a telephone scam

The owner of a downtown Hilo business reported that he received a call from a man identifying himself as “Mike” from the local electric company, who claim that the business owner had failed to pay his utility bill. The caller said the company’s electricity would be turned off unless the owner purchased a $500 gift card from a nearby drug store and provided the caller with the card number.

The business owner knew the call was a scam and reported it to the police.

Police caution the public not to respond to requests for information or payment that comes by telephone or through the internet. If you think a notification from a utility company might be legitimate, confirm it by calling the published phone number in the phone book not any phone number provided over the phone or by mail, email or text message.