RELEASE: Phone Scam Calls Targeting Licensed Professionals Reported

Posted on Aug 29, 2019 in News Releases, PVL, RICO

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE AND CONSUMER AFFAIRS

DAVID Y. IGE
GOVERNOR

CATHERINE P. AWAKUNI COLÓN
DIRECTOR

CHARLENE L.K. TAMANAHA
LICENSING ADMINISTRATOR

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 29, 2019

Phone Scam Calls Targeting Licensed Professionals Reported

HONOLULU, HI – The Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs’ (DCCA) Professional and Vocational Licensing Division (PVL) is advising the public to be aware of phone scammers targeting licensed professionals with false threats of investigation.

The Department received reports that an individual impersonating a state official has contacted at least two licensees stating that their professional licenses are under investigation by the Hawaii Medical Board. To add credibility to the fraudulent calls, the perpetrators utilized caller ID spoofing to make it seem that the calls were coming from the Hawaii Medical Board.

PVL through its 51 licensing programs does not contact the general public on matters relating to formal investigations. Investigations conducted by DCCA are initiated through the Regulated Industries Complaints Office (RICO). The PVL programs may however contact applicants and licensees to check on the status of an application, request additional information, etc.

In one reported case, a licensed pharmacist was contacted in this manner with the threat of investigation by the Hawaii Medical Board. This was a sign of a phone scam as pharmacists and associated entities are regulated by the Board of Pharmacy and not through the Hawaii Medical Board. It is a concern that calls may be targeting medical professionals such as nurses, doctors, and others.

Impersonating a public servant is against the law and perpetrators will be investigated and prosecuted. If you have received any calls similar to what has been described above or are seeking to verify contact from DCCA, please call your respective licensing program or PVL at 808-586-3000. A list of programs and their contact information is available at http://cca.hawaii.gov/pvl/.

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Media Contact:
William Nhieu
Communications Officer
Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs
Email: wnhieu@dcca.hawaii.gov
Office: (808) 586-7582
Cell: (808) 389-2788