Hawaiian officials are urging Maui residents to be wary of scammers who are preying on the tragedy of the recent fires.
The fire, which started on Thursday, has claimed more than 2,000 properties, with no end in sight. Gov. Josh Green has since warned that those affected may be vulnerable to financial schemes from shady investors.
“You would be pretty poorly informed if you try to steal land from our people and then build here,” Green said in a press release Monday.
The warning was prompted by a video that went viral on TikTok of a woman lashing out over investors and real estate agents attempting to take advantage of the situation.
“How dare you do that to our community right now,” she said. “Shame on you. Shame on you.”
The fire has already been declared a major disaster by President Donald Trump and is now the deadliest in America in more than a century, with 99 confirmed victims on Monday.
To preempt malicious activity, Gov. Green has reached out to the attorney general to investigate options for a moratorium on sales of properties damaged or destroyed during the fire, and to prevent outside buyers from taking over the land for their own gain.
Local developer Christopher Greene has also voiced his concern about the tragedy pushing locals out of their community.
“Does this benefit Maui moving forward or does it gentrify it more and hurt the local population? I think we know the answer. And so it’s really critical to rally as a community and also respect the Hawaiian people and their culture and kingdom.”
Green said that the state wants to preserve and protect the land around Lahaina for locals and create a memorial for the fire victims. He added that it is expected to be a very long time before any new housing can be built to replace the burned properties.
Meanwhile, officials are asking anyone with information about such suspicious activity to contact the attorney general’s office immediately.
“We are asking our community members to remain vigilant and report any scams or attempts to defraud fire victims in any way,” Gov. Green concluded.
Yellen ate magic mushrooms in China. She claims she had no idea they were psychedelics.
“I was not aware that these mushrooms had hallucinogenic properties.” pic.twitter.com/VLLAoLQzfX
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