Hawaii's kupuna increasingly falling victim to scamsUPDATED 10:55 PM HST Jul 06, 2014Video Transcript
Elder abuse can tarnish the golden years of seniors. Now, one expert on the front lines in protecting them -- is expecting Hawaii's growing problem -- to turn into an epidemic. KITV 4's Paul Drewes has the details. 7-11 55 Hawaii pawn shops are being used by more than just those who need a little extra cash to cover their monthly bills. 9:45 "seniors are coming into his pawn shop and selling their wedding rings, jade jewelry to pay the money to someone in nigeria because they won the lottery." graphic #1 #1 lottery sweepstakes scams #2 Unlicensed contractor fraud #3 Grandma scam #4 Ranson-ware Lottery and sweepstakes top the list of scams targeting Hawaii's seniors. just some of the many designed by criminals to cash in on the vulnerability, trust or loneliness of our elderly. The scams are nothing new...but what has changed is the number of elder abuse cases. :52 "they're dramatically going up" show of chart going up at 21:21 ish in the past 6 years, the prosecutors office has seen a 300% increase in crimes reported. Along with financial ones, there are also violent file footage of police at crime scene and property crimes -- many not even reported. standup@3:15-3:23 "while some seniors are turning to pawnshops for financial help, others may not get any assistance because they don't want anyone to know what has happened to them" 3:26-3:37 "The elder is scared to report. for one reason retaliation when it comes to violent crime but also for financial crimes there is a great sense of embarrassment there is a great sense of shame" As bad as things are now, Spallina says it will only get worse. He feels this crime wave of elder abuse will soon becomes a tsunami as Hawaii's population ages and criminals cash in on easy targets. 6:50-7:02 "Our crime justice division, our court system not prepared for it, we are going to be inundated with handling the financial abuse of seniors" In Honolulu, Paul Drewes KITV 4 news. Spallina adds -- money-making schemes are becoming more complex -- and can appear authentic -- even to experts. But he says he's seen cases where caregivers -- even family members -- are ALSO abusing the elderly.