In this Issue:
A to Z of Reg E
August 12 —
by Andy Zavoina
Things You Can Go to Jail for Telling
August 26 —
by Mary Beth Guard
in the Banker Store!
101 Security Tips Booklet
More Security Products
in the Banker Store
Phone Fraud and Other
Tricks that Fool Your Employees
Protecting Your Bank and Its Customers
Anti-Money Laundering Policy
- Loan or Finance Company
Welcome to the August issue of Security Spotlight
In this month's Security Spotlight, the dog days of summer arrived with a rise in dangerously heated bank robberies. Get some tips on spicing up your robbery training to more effectively prepare staff for typical and atypical heists, such as those featured in this issue. Counterfeiting was all the craze in last month's CrimeDex alerts, and the FBI is working to solve an old case that may be connected to more recent incidents.
Bad Santa Busted - In our January issue, we featured a bad Santa bandit who was wanted for robbing a SunTrust Bank in Port Orange, FL just two days before Christmas. The naughty St. Nick presented the teller with a wrapped "gift" he implied was a bomb. The suspect was arrested four days later at his home just a mile from the bank. It's Christmas in July for Mark London, 63, who pleaded no contest to robbery and displaying a fake bomb during a felony. He also pleaded no contest to unrelated drug-related charges. As part of a plea deal, London only faces a maximum 10-year sentence, far less than the 36 years combined – 15 for charges of robbery, 15 for displaying a hoax bomb, and 6 years for the drug charges – he could have received. He should consider that a gift.
Unsolved but not unsought - With bank robberies in Wisconsin on the rise, the FBI's Milwaukee field office has enlisted the help of the media to find the state's most wanted bandits. The FBI is looking for tips that will lead them to the violent criminal who entered the State Bank of Chilton in Milwaukee in 2009, jumped the teller counter, and led a bank employee at gun point to the safe, then locked all the bank employees in the safe room before taking his loot and fleeing. Dubbed the "Safe Robber," the FBI is particularly interested in this suspect because they believe he is connected to other (more recent) bank robberies in the area. In this video of the 2009 heist, the FBI has a message for this thief and others: "Just because you're not caught today or you're not caught next week, doesn't mean we aren't still looking for you, it doesn't mean we still may not come for you...it's just a matter of time."
Explosive and Fatal Bank Jobs
Bombshell Bandit - You've trained your tellers to greet the customer and be cheerful. Have you trained them how to respond to the customer who replies, "I have a bomb...give me the money"? Tellers at banks in the Los Angeles area, San Diego, and Arizona have recently been in this situation. The FBI is looking for the "Bombshell Bandit," a 5-foot-3-inch, 130-pound woman who remains calm during the heists and cool when she leaves. She has been known to wear a headscarf, or may be wearing a wig, but the bank in this video captured a clear image of the suspect.
Another explosive situation - At 8:30 a.m on June 21, 2013, a People’s United Bank employee in Vernon, CT parked her car and, as she was walking across the parking lot, a man approached her and said he had a bomb. He followed her into the bank and demanded money. He then stole an employee's car for his getaway. On July 4, Dionige Nasiadka was arrested and charged with multiple counts related to that robbery. In light of the similarity of that incident to the fatal Stockton, CA heist (see below) and recent violent robberies, security officers should consider training and contingency plans for these types of scenarios.
Rapid robbery increase in Cedar Rapids - Cedar Rapids, IA has experienced a significant increase in bank robberies – averaging more than one bank robbery a month year to date, with a total of eight heists on record by the end of July. The good news is that police have made arrests in five of those eight incidents. Two brothers were arrested in connection with three of the robberies. One of the brothers, Timothy Broderick, actually worked at a bank for about a month last year, during which time he could have been gathering inside information on bank security. Keep this in mind when training new employees and be cautious about sharing too much security information with new hires.
First time trial run? - In this month's Facebook section, we provide information and a link to the details on the Stockton, CA bank robbery where three people, including one bank customer taken hostage, were killed. Police are still investigating that tragic incident, but authorities believe one of the deceased suspects may have robbed that same bank in January. There are striking similarities of both the robber and the M.O. In both cases, an employee's car was used for the getaway. In this news video a woman recounts the January robbery, and why she no longer works for the bank.
Police continue to search for the driver of the car that dropped off the men before the July Stockton heist. More than forty of Stockton's law enforcement officers involved in the shooting incident were placed on administrative leave. Jaime Ramos, 19, was arrested after using a hostage, bank customer Misty Holt-Singh, as a human shield. The shooting is still under investigation and it remains unclear if Holt-Singh was shot by police or one of the suspects. Ramos could face at least 35 charges, including murder counts that make him eligible for a death sentence.
Loose lips sink ships - When you hear about motive for a bank robbery, the explanation often given is "that's where the money is," but usually there is also an underlying drug or alcohol problem. In a bank robbery that occurred on Valentine's Day in Michigan, the robber's motive was fueled by his need for enough money to buy a $13,000 engagement ring for a girl he met at bible college. Ramsey Z. Fakhouri's girlfriend worked at a bank. While he was talking to her - on a speakerphone - she unwittingly divulged confidential security information. She discussed restocking cash in an ATM outside the branch, information that was later used by Fakhouri and his accomplice, Alexander Gerth, to plan the robbery. Police used surveillance photos to identify the suspects. Fakhouri was just sentenced to six and a half years in federal prison. As pointed out with Timothy Broderick's role in the Cedar Rapids heist above, what employees don't need to know they can't talk about.
Hot Topics from the Bankers' Threads
In the publicly accessible threads, one banker is seeking clarification on approval of a security policy by a committee of the board instead of the board as a whole, while another wrapped up a discussion on fire resistance standards for vaults. You can weigh in or view the discussion here. This is an excellent way to network with peers and get your action plan in place before there is an urgent need for it.
Check out other interesting discussions taking place in the Public Security area. When commenting on these discussions, keep in mind this is an unprotected public forum and comments should be limited to generic content.
We also have a "private" security forum for discussion of more private, sensitive topics. That is where security officers were discussing training, BYOD policies, remote access, FinCEN emails, and a lot more!
To comment in Bankers' Threads you must be a registered user. You can register here. If using your bank email account, you will be given access to the private forums. The Private area is a group of forums under the heading "Private - Financial Institution Personnel Only." The Private forums do not include access to Bankers Hotline or Compliance Action, premium content areas that require paid subscriptions to those respective publications.
If you are already registered for the Threads, but don't yet have access to the private forums, using your bank email address send a request for access to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please verify that you do not yet have Private access. Once your registration request is approved, you can access the Private Security forum here.
Counterfeiting remains rampant
In this month's overview of alerts from BOL CrimeDex participants, we focus on reports of counterfeiting scams. On July 1, an alert from the BSA officer at Schertz Bank and Trust in Shertz, Texas, warned of counterfeit cashier's checks being circulated in the U.S. and Canada in connection with online employment applications. Later that same day came a warning about counterfeit credit cards being used in the Spartanburg, South Carolina region. Counterfeit American Express traveler's checks were involved in a July 2 arrest announcement from Gastonia, North Carolina, in which one of the suspects was carrying -- you guessed it! -- a counterfeit driver's license. A Nevada sheriff's office reached out in an attempt to identify three suspects using counterfeit credit cards and phony identification to purchase gift cards that they sell to third parties. Of course, Internet-facilitated sales are often involved in counterfeit check frauds, and a Fairfield, Connecticut bank provided an example in its July 10 alert about phony checks presented against an account of one of its former customers. The checks have been sent to Craigslist sellers to complete purchases for significantly lesser amounts, along with a request to wire the excess back to the buyer. Texas sellers seemed to have been targeted in that scam.
Are you a BOL CrimeDex subscriber? You could be receiving regional or nationwide alerts about crimes that can warn you of crooks operating in your area or scams that could affect your institution and its customers.
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Throughout the month, we share news-related incidents on our Facebook page that can be informative examples for training employees on security issues and more.
Our July 10th and 14th posts were about insider thefts. In one incident, $8,000 was stolen, but the way the funds were taken may indicate a not so smart employee or one who hasn't heard of reports and paper trails. The second theft involved almost $780,000 – and a deceased customer. Review what happened in this case, and see if it could happen in your bank.
The July 18th post is about a fashion faux pas committed by a bank robber we're glad is off the street. "Her" disguise wasn't enough to protect him from the long arm of the law. On that same day, we shared the news of the now well-publicized bank robbery in Stockton, CA that resulted in a tragic ending. Three men robbed a bank, took three hostages, led police on a pursuit through three cities, and ended with three dead, including a bank customer. Those robbers were heavily armed and ready to take on the police. And on July 24th, we posted an Information Security warning, followed four days later on July 28th by the report of a tow truck driver shot to death while in the process of repossessing a car.
Keep up with these and other informative topics on our BOL Facebook page. Be sure to "like" the articles so we can continue to post more articles of interest to you!