TAMPA — The young voice on the phone told the 82-year-old widow it was her granddaughter calling. She was in trouble and needed cash fast.
It would turn out to be someone posing as a beloved grandchild to get money, according to a lawsuit filed recently in Hillsborough County civil court — a scam that people who deal in cases of elder abuse know well.
This time, the victim lost more than $700,000, the lawsuit says— much of her life savings.
Who’s being sued? Truist Bank, accused of negligence and allowing the woman to continue to make large and unusual withdrawals even after red flags were raised.
A Florida statute meant to protect vulnerable adults requires a bank that has reason to believe a customer is being exploited to report it, said Guy Burns, the Tampa Bay attorney representing Anna Nunn.
Records he received from the Department of Children and Families after the lawsuit was filed indicated someone did call the abuse hotline about Nunn’s unusual withdrawals — presumably the bank, Burns said.
But she was allowed to continue to take out another $500,000 after that call, he said.
“We think the bank’s conduct was negligent,” said Burns. “We think they turned a blind eye.”
A spokesman for Truist Financial Corporation said via email that the bank does not discuss client relationships or pending litigation and declined to comment.
Also, Burns said Nunn was never contacted by investigators after the call to the…