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Kokua Line: Judiciary, Health Department warn of separate …


Question: There’s a bad scam going around. Please warn seniors.

Answer: You are referring to a Medicare billing scam, which I will explain, but the state also put out the word Thursday about a separate scam impersonating the Hawaii State Judiciary; we’ll start with the latter.

The fraudulent phishing email that falsely purports to be from the Judiciary tells the recipient to click on a link that could “immediately infect the user’s device with a computer virus,” the Judiciary said in a news release. Anyone who receives this bogus email should immediately delete it and not click on the fraudulent link, which contains ww 25 (dot) ecourt kokua (dot) com. We spaced out the address and spelled out “dot” to avoid publishing a clickable fraudulent link.

The Judiciary’s news release indicates that the phishing email seeks the recipient’s personal and financial information and could infect the recipient’s computer or device if the link is clicked.

As for the Medicare billing scam, the state Department of Health issued a news release Thursday urging Medicare patients to be aware of fraudulent claims for urinary catheters, glucose monitors and other supplies those patients don’t need or have not actually received but for which Medicare has been billed.

The DOH said that red flags indicating a potential scam include:

>> “You don’t recognize the ordering physician’s name nor have you been seen by the physician.”

>> “The ordering physician is located in another state.”

>> “You receive an Explanation of Benefits (‘EOB’) or Medicare Summary Notice (MSN) with a large quantity of supplies you’ve never received.”

>> “You don’t have a medical condition that would require the supplies. For example: You don’t have diabetes, but you receive a billing statement showing charges for glucose monitors.”

Report suspicious Medicare billing to Senior Medicare Patrol Hawai‘i at 808-586-7281 or 800-296-9422, the Health Department said.

Q: Regarding the People’s Fund of Maui, there are kupu­­na who desperately need this money but have trouble applying for anything online, especially uploading stuff. What do they do?

A: This fund, which was launched by Oprah Winfrey and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, offers $1,200 a month to eligible victims of the Maui wildfires. The direct assistance is for adults who have lost their primary residence, owned or rented. Applicants are encouraged to apply online, via, but there is help available by phone and in person for those who need extra assistance. People who need help filling out the application can call 808-427-7777 or, from Sept. 8 to 11, visit the People’s Fund of Maui Assistance Center at the Westin Maui Ka‘anapali, 2365 Kaanapali Parkway, according to the website. The center is scheduled to be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on those dates.

Applicants must provide a government-issued photo ID and proof of residence for their lost or uninhabitable residence, which can be one utility bill in the applicant’s name, such as a phone, cable, electricity or gas bill.

Q: You mentioned how to redeem burned U.S. currency (, but what about U.S. coins? Does the federal government replace them, too?

A: No, not currently. The U.S. Mint has a Mutilated Coin Redemption Program, but it’s been suspended for years while new administrative rules are being worked out; no resumption date has been announced. Even when the program was operating, it wouldn’t redeem “fused coins” that had melted together “to the extent that they are bonded together,” even when most were clearly identifiable, according to the program’s website.

Write to Kokua Line at Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Suite 7-500, Honolulu, HI 96813; call 808-529-4773; or email

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