Police say phone scam targeting elderly traced to Hawaii man - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Police say phone scam targeting elderly traced to Hawaii man

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Phone scams targeting the elderly are common and usually without resolution as the scams often originate in other countries, but Honolulu Police say they've traced one scam to a Salt Lake man, an engineer for the State Department of Transportation.

Rodney Tominaga is accused of stealing or trying to steal more than a hundred thousand dollars from elderly women. In one case, someone even showed up at a victim's home to take control of the cash.

"These schemes have evolved," says HPD Lieutenant John McCarthy of the Financial Crimes Detail, "Where we were once separated by an ocean... Now we have people, the suspects, actually coming to your home picking up the money."

The 62-year old Tominaga was at his home last week when we went by to ask him about the accusations. He told us he didn't want to talk to us on camera without his attorney, Sam King.

"He's trying to clear it up quick," Tominaga said, "Then I can talk to you."

Tominaga and his attorney said off camera, that he is also a victim of a scam similar to a ponzi scheme.

According to police, the women were told that they won millions but needed to send money before claiming their prize. Police say they were shocked to find out there was a local connection.

"It is in our backyard," McCarthy says while that's a scary thought, it could help solve cases, "Now they're within our jurisdiction so we're able to control every aspect of the investigation."

Tominaga allegedly stole more than a hundred thousand dollars from his victims, and police believe there are more out there.

He has been with the Department of Transportation for 17 years, his current status is unclear.

Copyright 2015 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.

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