Grim scam targets Maui residents

Grim scam targets Maui residents

By Greg Collier

The poor people of Maui. If it wasn’t bad enough that they’ve suffered through the country’s worst wildfire in a century, they’ve had to protect themselves from a plague of scammers. If it’s not mortgage scammers, charity scammers, or FEMA impersonators, it’s predatory people trying to buy their property for pennies on the dollar. Now, the people of Maui are being targeted by one of the most deplorable scams we’ve seen yet.

As you may know, over 100 people lost their lives in the fire, with over 1,000 still missing. Countless families are looking for some kind of closure, whether it’s to reunite with them or lay them to rest. Due to the nature of the fire, many remains have yet to be identified. Enter the scammers.

According to Maui County officials, some residents have been receiving calls from someone claiming to be from ‘DNA Services’. These calls are believed to be offering residents assistance in help identifying the remains of their loved ones, for a fee, of course. The county claims this is a scam and should be reported to local police at their non-emergency number.

Currently, there is only one official location that is helping residents identify loved ones. That’s the Family Assistance Center at the Hyatt Regency’s Monarchy Ballroom in Kaanapali.

We don’t often get emotional here, but this may just be the most reprehensible scam we’ve ever heard of. This may even top the recent spate of funeral home scams.

The people of Maui still need our help. It’s been recommended that if you want to donate to help the people of Maui directly, the best place to donate is the Maui Food Bank.