Protecting Hawaii’s Kūpuna Since 1997

If you think you've been scammed, CALL NOW! Oahu: 808-586-7281, Toll Free: 1-800-296-9422

Prevention Education and SMP Volunteering: Key to Fighting Healthcare Fraud

Since 1997, SMP Hawaii’s mission is to inform and assist kūpuna to prevent, detect, and report healthcare fraud, errors, and abuse. In collaboration with a network of partners and advocates statewide, SMP is working to strengthen the safety net to protect the identity, assets, and life’s legacy of our kūpuna.

Medicare loses over $60 billion annually to fraudulent claims that includes falsely billing for a visit, procedure, supplies or equipment that:

Kūpuna unknowingly pay their medical bills to avoid late payment without first checking their medical statement for errors, as it can be confusing and very difficult to understand.

Prevention education is the best defense in the fight against healthcare fraud and abuse. Mistakes can happen, but when there is malicious intent to commit fraud, SMP gets involved and works with state and federal partners (U.S. Office of Inspector General, Federal Trade Commission, State Attorney General, BBB; others) to report these suspected cases for investigation. Some of these cases involved:


In 2023, SMP Hawaii volunteers contributed over 6,500 hours, helped 503 beneficiaries or family members, and reached nearly 12,000 people at community fairs and exhibits statewide. Counselors were able to help beneficiaries to save or avoid paying $1,100. Value of volunteer hours according to the 2023 national volunteer hourly rate totaled $208,665. Dedicated volunteers are trained in the roles of their choice, and when their schedule allows, can participate and contribute hours of program support without ever leaving home. The program recruits and trains volunteers statewide to conduct presentations, provide 1:1 counseling, and refer suspected cases of healthcare and non-healthcare fraud to the proper authorities.

During the past year, 89% of all scams reported to BBB by Hawaii residents took place in digital space. Total reported loss amount in this category was $420,212.98; average loss amount: $744.81. Top scams reported to BBB by Hawaii residents in 2023: Phishing (563) and Online Purchases (113). These statistics confirm that despite heroic efforts, once monies are lost, it is very difficult to recover.

Hawaii leads the nation in life expectancy at 80.7 years of age and this population is growing. Fraudsters will continue to prey upon Hawaii’s trusting and vulnerable older adults with scams that are becoming more and more sophisticated. Volunteer today to stay active, stay informed, and stay safe. Join the fight because it takes our entire state to protect kūpuna!

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