HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - An alert teller at First Hawaiian Bank was able to stop a suspected criminal from extorting money from an elderly bank customer in a home repair scam, according to the bank.
The woman, in her early 80's, was approached by a man offering to do some repairs to her home. They negotiated and agreed upon a price. Once the work was completed and payment was made, the man then demanded more money using intimidation.
The senior paid the person the increased payment with a check.
When the suspect tried to cash the customer's checks at the bank, the teller recognized the name as the same individual who had been involved in several other elder abuse complaints and immediately notified bank security who turned the matter over to the police.
"It is unfortunate that there are unscrupulous people preying on our elderly within the community - targeting seniors who live alone and often need help around the house," said Charles Davis, vice president, Security Department at First Hawaiian Bank. "Fortunately, our staff knows our customers and they are trained to be proactive and to attempt to recognize elder abuse situations. We are glad that we are able to assist police in their efforts to curb this activity."
Elder abuse is a serious concern across the nation and especially for Hawaii which has one of the largest elderly populations in the nation.
Abuse can take the form of financial, physical or neglect and can be perpetrated by a stranger who gains the trust and influence over the elderly victim or even another family member.
While reported cases are clearly on the rise, many cases go unreported as victims feel too ashamed to report abuse or fear losing their independence.
If you suspect physical abuse, call 911.
For financial abuse involving bank accounts, ask a bank employee to contact their security department.
Copyright Hawaii News Now 2011. All rights reserved.
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