Police: Hanover bank teller saved woman from scam

Harper Ho
York Dispatch
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An alert M&T Bank teller helped stop a woman from being scammed out of thousands of dollars by a West Virginia man posing as an electrician in Hanover, police said.

Brian Alexander Taulton, 53, of the 100 block of West Burke Street in Martinsburg, West Virginia, is charged with making a false statement to induce agreement for home improvement services and theft by deception false impression, both felonies.

Hanover Borough Police filed charges last month. He hasn't been arrested.

Police were dispatched at 3:22 p.m. Dec. 15 to an M&T Bank, 105 Dart Drive in Hanover, for a report of a fraud, according to charging documents. 

A teller at the bank told police a man tried to cash a $7,600 check but left when the transaction was declined by the victim, who is over 60 years old.

"(She) stated that she observed that Defendant had already cashed a $7,500 check from Victim," the criminal complaint states. "(S)he contacted (victim), and learned that (victim) had written the checks to Defendant for electrical repairs."

The teller advised the woman that she might be the victim of a fraud, so the woman canceled the check, according to charging documents. 

The victim told police Taulton and several other men wearing safety vests knocked on her door in Hanover the day before.

Taulton allegedly told her that he needed to check the residence's electrical connections and outlets. Afterwards he "advised her that she needed to upgrade the entire residence, or she may face having her power shut off by the electric company," according to charging documents.

The woman gave police a "work order slip" that Taulton had given to her, showing a cost of $8,600 to rewire the residence and required a $7,500 deposit for materials, the documents state. 

The victim gave Taulton a $7,500 check. Taulton allegedly came back the next day and said he needed another $7,500 to complete the job. The victim wrote him another check.

Police said bank video surveillance shows Taulton attempting to cash the check, and his signature on the cashed checked matched the signature on his identification record.