In this Issue:
OFAC Compliance in 2014: Examiners are expecting even more!
March 12 —
by Tim White
Reg E vs. ACH - Which Rules Apply and Controlling Losses
March 13 —
by John Burnett and Andy Zavoina
BSA/AML Compliance: Writing the SAR Narrative
April 24 —
by Ken Golliher
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in the Banker Store!
Don't Be a Money Mule™
More Security Products
in the Banker Store
Phone Fraud and Other Tricks that Fool Your Employees
I.D. Checking Guide US (2014)
Bankers' Hotline Newsletter
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BVL Vol. 35:
Welcome to the March issue of Security Spotlight
In this month's Security Spotlight, crime becomes a habit for some while others use crime to support their habits. Bogus checks, time-share scams, and credit card takeover fraud reports from CrimeDex provide great lessons for staff training. Barry Thompson sheds some light on recommended surveillance retention and, in a new feature this month, read about a bank that turned a loss into a win.
Slip Ups and Old Habits
He really slipped up - Icy conditions are prevalent this time of year. When a person slips and falls on the ice, their natural inclination is to look around and see if anyone witnessed their embarrassing faux pas. Robert Williams lost more than his dignity when he slipped on ice while fleeing after robbing TNC Bank in Laurel, MD. Williams' first mistake, besides robbing a bank, was forgetting to bring a duffel bag to contain the $20,000 in cash he stole. When exiting the bank, he dropped the cash, stopped to gather up the loot and stashed it in an open umbrella he found nearby. Finally making it out of the bank, Williams slipped on ice and cut his head open. He managed to make it to his getaway car but the time he lost picking the money and himself up off the ground gave police enough time to catch up to him and make the arrest. Williams was charged with robbery. His mugshot sported evidence of the bandit's bungling efforts.
Old habits die hard - Some people find it difficult, if not impossible, to change their accustomed behavior. For 47-year-old Ivan Commodore Stamps, crime was a hard habit to break. Going as far back as 1985, Stamps engaged in criminal behavior ranging from DUI, burglary, theft, fraud and domestic violence. In January 2013, the habitual offender went on a crime spree in East Colorado Springs. On January 26th, Stamps carjacked a vehicle, robbed a Joann Fabrics store and a King Soopers (an affiliate of The Kroger Co) department store. While in pursuit by authorities on January 30th, he crashed the stolen vehicle and ran, then tried unsuccessfully to carjack a man. When that failed, he held a woman at gunpoint, stole her car, and then attempted to rob a TCF Bank branch. Stamps was apprehended when he rammed the vehicle into police cars while trying to flee. Found guilty earlier this year of charges that included aggravated robbery, attempted robbery, criminal impersonation and assault on a peace officer, Stamps has been sentenced to 298 years – yes, years – in prison. That should be plenty of time to break his bad habits.
Bad man down... - In Gilbert, AZ a man who robbed a Bank of America branch fled the crime on a bicycle. Police lost track of him until they received a report of a nearby carjacking fitting the description of their suspect. While attempting to flee in the stolen vehicle, he hit a police car and one of the tires came off the vehicle. He didn't get far on the three remaining tires, and when confronted by police he made a threatening gesture before being shot and killed. We imagine those bank employees were relieved to have escaped harm from this dangerous criminal. Situations like this reinforce why tellers are trained to comply with a robber's demands and get them out of the bank as quickly as possible. It was a fatal outcome for the thief, but other than the police officer in the car that was hit receiving treatment at a local hospital, thankfully no civilians were injured.
Money isn't the only motivation... - While bank robberies are generally committed for the money, that isn't always the thief's underlying motivation. In Olney, MD, Michael Williamson passed a note to a Capital One bank teller demanding money and implying he had a gun. The bank's surveillance camera caught a clear image of him as he exited the bank. Later that evening, Williamson was arrested for possession of marijuana and when police searched him they found some of the bank's stolen cash in his pockets. He later confessed to the bank robbery. While this case doesn't conclusively report that drug use was the primary motivator, addicts needing to finance their habits is often a factor in robberies. While it may not change the outcome, awareness of what is driving a criminal can help bank staff understand their mindset, safely meet their demands, and avoid a more hostile situation from developing.
A threefold increase in two years... - In Salt Lake City, UT bank robberies increased threefold in the past two years. In 2012, there were 26 bank robberies and 70 bank robberies occurred in 2013. There have been 10 bank robberies committed so far this year in the city. In their efforts to find out what is behind the dramatic increase in robberies, Salt Lake City invited local police, FBI agents and bankers to a "Bank Safety Summit." Five of this year's ten robberies took place the weekend prior to the meeting, when bankers outnumbered police 3 to 1. Drug habits were determined to be more of a driving force behind the increase in robberies than the economy, and banks are notably accessible and easy targets. At the confidential meeting, prevention was the key issue discussed with the focus on serving customers, but doing what is reasonable to reduce the likelihood that your bank will be the next target.
Arrest was the agenda... - In Frankfurt, Germany, a 44 year old man entered a Deutesche Bank, waited his turn in line, and informed the teller they were being robbed. He asked for money and told the teller she should hit the alarm. Turns out he wasn't actually robbing the bank. What he really wanted was to be arrested and go to jail so he could kick his drug habit cold turkey. As he explained this to the teller, the bank employee offered him a seat and a cup of coffee until police arrived. Since the police determined that he didn't rob the bank or hurt anyone or any property, they simply told him where he could get help and sent him on his way. No bank robbery, no arrest. Let's hope he is at least successful in getting help.
Hot Topics from the Bankers' Threads
In the publicly accessible threads, when a banker's Google search for regulatory guidance on a financial institution's requirement to have a security officer failed to provide what he was looking for, his peers pointed him in the right direction. Sometimes it just makes more sense to start a search by reviewing the regulation.
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 robbery procedures and cash recyclers, security tips for a "cash intensive" branch, software programs they use, changing lock combinations, and 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.
Lessons from CrimeDex alerts
A clever attempt at counterfeiting business checks is reported in a recent BOL CrimeDex alert from a Pennsylvania bank. Its legitimate customer's checks have been counterfeited but both the customer address and the bank address have been changed to Texas in an attempt to make the bogus checks appear genuine when payable to individuals located in the Lone Star State.
Have any of your customers been victimized in fraudulent time-share sales scams? A police department in Illinois is looking for other police units investigating such scams. It posted an alert about a victim who sent over $250,000 to a fraudulent company in an attempt to sell her time-share property in Mexico.
We haven't seen counterfeit check alerts from the FDIC for months, but Countybank, in Greenwood, SC, posted an alert that counterfeits of its cashier's checks are in circulation. The counterfeit items include a message about security features in their top border area (legitimate Countybank cashier's checks don't include that message). If you have a question about a Countybank cashier's check that looks suspicious, contact the bank's corporate security officer, Chris Hammett, at (864) 942-1527.
Credit card account takeovers were reported in another alert from a bank's security officer. That alert noted that three customers' accounts had been taken over using fraudulent changes of address and requests for replacement cards, all sent to addresses in the Atlanta, Georgia area. The real cardholders lived in Illinois, Ohio and North Carolina. An address change followed quickly by a request for a duplicate or replacement card is one of the leading red flags for account takeover attempts. Can your bank employees identify similar attempts and react appropriately to prevent account takeovers?
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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. We kicked off February with a post on the 4th you can share to help protect employees and customers who are inclined to call back a missed call...a call that could end up costing them!
On February 19th, there is a warning about a new ZeuS variant using the art of "steganography," and another post about a sting operation out of Central Texas that resulted in the bust of the prolific "ZZ Top" bandit. After robbing banks for ten years, you'll love the bandit's own actions that led to his capture.
Another serial robber, the "Cyborg" bandit, who allegedly robbed 30 banks, was captured in Seattle thanks to the diligent efforts of law enforcement. We link to the full story in our February 21st post. Also on February 21st, with tax season upon us, check out the IRS's annual "dirty dozen" list of tax scams and share these warnings and tips with your customers. 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!