Imagine being a resident of Maui, already dealing with the aftermath of a devastating wildfire, and then receiving a phone call from someone claiming to be collecting DNA samples for identification purposes. This is the unfortunate reality that some members of the Maui community are facing as scammers try to take advantage of the tragedy. Maui County officials have issued a warning urging the public to be wary of these fraudulent calls and to report any suspicious activity to the authorities. The only authorized location for DNA sampling is the Family Assistance Center in Kāʻanapali, and any requests for payment or collection of DNA samples outside of this facility are scams. It is essential for residents to stay vigilant and protect themselves from further harm during this difficult time.
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Scams related to DNA sample collection
In the wake of the devastating Maui wildfire disaster, it is unfortunate that some individuals and organizations are attempting to take advantage of the situation by perpetrating scams related to the collection of DNA samples. These scams have targeted members of the Maui community, causing concern and confusion among those who have already been affected by the disaster. It is crucial for everyone to stay vigilant and be aware of these scams to protect themselves and their loved ones.
Reports of scams targeting Maui community members
The Family Assistance Center, which has been working diligently to support those affected by the Maui wildfire, has received reports of community members receiving phone calls from individuals or organizations claiming to be from “DNA Services.” These calls are fraudulent and are not affiliated with any legitimate authority or organization. It is important to recognize these scams and take immediate action if you receive such a call.
Telephone calls claiming to be from “DNA Services” are scams
If you receive a call from someone claiming to be from “DNA Services,” it is crucial that you hang up immediately. These calls are scams that aim to deceive and defraud individuals who may be vulnerable due to the aftermath of the Maui wildfire. Do not engage with the caller or provide any personal information. It is crucial to report these scam calls to the Maui Police Department’s non-emergency number at 808-244-6400.
Hang up immediately and report to Maui Police Department
As soon as you realize that the call you received is a scam, hang up without further ado. It is essential not to engage with the caller or provide them with any personal or financial information. To ensure the safety and security of the community, report the scam call to the Maui Police Department’s non-emergency number at 808-244-6400. By reporting these incidents, you contribute to the prevention of further scams targeting the Maui community.
Family Assistance Center is the only authorized location for DNA sampling
To combat the spread of misinformation and protect individuals from scams, it is crucial to understand the authorized procedures for DNA sampling in the wake of the Maui wildfire disaster. The Family Assistance Center, located at the Hyatt Regency’s Monarchy Ballroom in Kāʻanapali, is the only designated location on Maui for DNA sampling. This center has been established specifically to assist with the identification of remains and provide necessary support to affected families.
Staff members are not calling community members for DNA samples
It is important to note that the staff members at the Family Assistance Center are not making calls to community members to request DNA samples. Any phone call claiming to be from the Family Assistance Center and requesting a DNA sample is fraudulent. This is a significant indicator that the call is a scam and should be treated as such. Do not provide any information or engage with the caller. Hang up immediately and report the incident to the Maui Police Department.
Unauthorized offers to collect DNA samples outside the center
If anyone approaches you outside of the designated Family Assistance Center and offers to collect a DNA sample, it is essential to be cautious. Maui County has not authorized any individuals or organizations to collect DNA samples outside of the Family Assistance Center. These unauthorized offers are likely part of scams aiming to exploit the situation for personal gain. Protect yourself and your loved ones by avoiding any engagement with such individuals and immediately reporting their actions to the authorities.
Request for payment for DNA samples is a scam
Under no circumstances should anyone request payment in connection with the collection of DNA samples for identification purposes. Any such request is a scam and should be treated with utmost skepticism. It is crucial to recognize that the collection of DNA samples at the Family Assistance Center is solely for the purpose of identifying wildfire victims and survivors. Report any request for payment in connection with DNA samples to the Maui Police Department immediately.
Report any payment request to Maui Police Department
If you encounter a situation where you are asked for payment in connection with the collection of DNA samples, it is vital to report the incident to the Maui Police Department as soon as possible. Providing information about these payment requests will help law enforcement authorities track down the scammers and prevent further victimization of the Maui community. By reporting these scams, you play a crucial role in safeguarding your community from fraudulent activities.
Family Assistance Center location and hours
The Family Assistance Center, located at 200 Nohea Kai Dr., Lahaina, HI 96761, is open daily from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. This center is specifically designated for immediate family members who have loved ones reported unaccounted for. If you fall into this category, it is essential to go to the Family Assistance Center to submit a DNA sample for identification purposes. The center’s staff members are trained and experienced in providing the necessary support during this difficult time.
Contact information for those outside of Maui
For individuals residing outside of Maui who need to coordinate the submission of a DNA sample, it is advised to contact the FBI at 808-566-4300. The FBI’s dedicated line for this purpose will provide assistance and guidance on how to proceed with the submission process. Additionally, you can also email the FBI at HN-COMMAND-POST@ic.fbi.gov to communicate regarding the submission of a DNA sample. These contact details ensure that individuals outside of Maui can participate in the identification process seamlessly.
Use and storage of DNA samples
It is essential for individuals to understand the purpose and handling of the DNA samples collected at the Family Assistance Center. The DNA samples obtained are solely used for the identification of wildfire victims and survivors. Once the identification process is complete, the samples will not be stored or used for any other purpose. This ensures the privacy and integrity of the individuals involved and guarantees that their DNA information will not be used inappropriately or without consent.
In conclusion, education and awareness are crucial in protecting ourselves and our loved ones from scams related to DNA sample collection. By staying informed about the authorized procedures and being vigilant about fraudulent activities, we can come together as a community to safeguard against those who seek to exploit vulnerabilities in times of crisis. Remember to hang up immediately and report any scam calls to the Maui Police Department while also utilizing the appropriate channels for DNA sample submission and coordination. By remaining united in the face of adversity, we can overcome these challenges and rebuild stronger than ever.