Nefarious scammers prey on people when they are vulnerable, scared or plain confused. So it hasn’t taken long, sadly, for scammers to now launch schemes pretending to be health-care “contact tracers” during the coronavirus pandemic.
While the state Health Department does have a legitimate, growing corps of contact tracers to alert folks who have come in contact with a coronavirus-positive person, beware callers fishing for personal ID numbers or financial information, or digital messages with links embedded with malware. Unfortunately, contact-tracing is only the latest among other COVID-related scams; to stay informed, check out the state consumer protection website at cca.hawaii.gov/ocp/covid19.
Help with liquor license fees?
A little ray of sunshine for beleaguered bar owners: Bill Comerford, chairman of the Hawaii Bar Owners Association, said he got a 90-day extension to pay the liquor license fee for one of his four bars, the Irish Rose Saloon. He said he hopes other licensees will ask for and receive similar relief from the Honolulu Liquor Commission.
That could help local bars, which only recently were allowed to reopen under physical distancing restrictions — a big change from the normal social atmosphere of such establishments, and a possible damper on business. Let’s hope responsible owners can get the relief they need to stay open.