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A Lesson Learned from Someone Else's Mistake, is a Valuable Lesson Learned

A Lesson Learned from Someone Else's Mistake,
is a Valuable Lesson Learned

This section of BankersOnline.com features insight and advice gained from real-life experiences related to us by bankers. Have "Lesson Learned" others may want to hear about, send it to Andy Zavoina

Lessons:
Credit Card Verification Phone Number Security Camera Procedures Should Include Post Robbery Actions Film and File, Film and File An Ounce of Prevention - and a Laptop can Weigh a Lot of Ounces A $1.1 Million BSA Lesson Account Takeover What NOT to Do Advance Prep Needed for Emergency Facilities Who Do You Call? Employee Forms Up to Date?

  • Credit Card Verification Telephone Number
    We've heard about the security scams where the bank calls the number on the cashier's check to verify it is good. The problem is that the number goes to the thiefs accomplice. This has gone up a level as we now have reports from banks in the Tuscon area about the same thing, but on credit cards.

    The non-customer wants to get a cash advance on their credit card. But when the teller swipes the card there is an error. The teller dutifully calls the toll-free number on the back of the card and receives authorization for the advance. In this scenario the accomplice is in a car in the parking lot. The accomplice has one script to read to a financial institution and another to read to a retailer. They sound correct.

    While the police are looking for this pair, banks are changing their procedures and no longer calling the number on the back of the credit cards.

  • Security Camera Procedures Should Include Post Robbery Actions
    When installing digital cameras or surveillance systems, make sure that the branch they are installed in has a way to distribute the ophotographs to local law enforcement for use in press releases and distribution to officers.

    After a recent robbery, we learned the hard way that getting these images into the hands of the police is not as easy as it sounds. We had a digital camera in the branch that captured very nice color pictures of the suspect. The problem was that none of the computers in the office had a CD burner to copy the photographs to. There was also no color printer in the branch. The PC's did have floppy drives, but there were no floppy disks in the branch. The file size of the photos were so large that fitting them to floppy disks would have required many disks and lots of time. We decided to email the photos to the local police department so that they could burn them to CD, but they had a dial up connection and size restrictions on attachments that they could accept which made that impossible.

    All of these problems caused about a 12 hour delay in releasing the photos of the suspect which is good compared to a week or more if dealing with 35mm film, but disappointing when dealing with hi-tech digital where we've come to anticipate instant gratification.

    At the very least make sure that you have a good quality color printer at the branch and preferably a CD burner installed on the system with your digital camera software. And don't forget to have a dedicated supply of CDR discs in the branch's robbery kits.

    Some other things to remember:
    • Make sure that more than one person in the branch knows how to operate the digital camera software.
    • Make sure that someone is looking at the digital system on a regular basis to make sure that the time is correct and that it is working properly.



  • Film and File, Film and File
    One banker told us about a harsh lesson learned. When a teller's work was lost and it had not been filmed or otherwise imaged before it left, they stood to lose $350,000.

    "If something happens to the work, at least you can indemnify the paper copies of the images and not inconvenience your customers. With no images, you are at the mercy of your customers' good will. Asking them to provide new copies of their deposits/cashed checks is bad enough, but if they, in turn, have to ask their customers to provide new checks to help reconstruct the deposit-----the embarrassment and loss of reputation is a staggering cost."

    They were able to reconstruct all the work, less $10,000. So while the loss was greatly reduced, what would it have taken to close the drawer on time and image the work? The teller may have thought "what are the chances" but the bank will now ask "what are the risks?"


  • An Ounce of Prevention - and a Laptop can Weigh a Lot of Ounces
    Our PC folks are getting tough on laptop security. If an employee loses or has a laptop stolen through fault of the employee, that employee?s cost center is charged $50,000. In other words, if your home is broken into and the laptop stolen, your boss is out $50,000 from the budget. And Security is now authorized to instantly fine an employee?s cost center for leaving a laptop unattended without a lock in place. Tough and costly measures should wake some people up.

  • A $1.1 Million BSA Lesson
    What does it take for your employees' AML radar detector to start beeping? Well, if they haven't been trained, maybe it won't ever go off and money launderers will be able to utilize your institution for their dirty deeds without being detected. Take a look at the latest FinCEN assessment of a civil money penalty. Examine the facts. Think through how your own institution would have responded to similar scenarios. Read our article: FinCEN Flips Wig Over BSA Violations

  • Account Takeover
    With all of the attention being paid to Section 326, you would think that it's getting pretty hard for a thief to gain access to your customer accounts. Think again. And check out this lesson: The "Upside" to Knowing Your Customer

  • Who Do You Call?
    You're on your way to a training session or to meet with an important customer. Disaster strikes. You pull out your cell phone to make an emergency call. What number do you dial? This Lesson tells you. Dial #77?

  • What NOT to Do
    Reading enfocement orders can give you insight into the type of conduct you should avoid in your institution. Some big bucks penalties recently caught our attention. Read about them in "What Did They Do?"

  • Advance Prep Needed for Emergency Facilities
    There's more to utilizing a temporary building than just getting it where you want it. This lesson gives you other reasons to make your arrangements early.

  • Employee Forms Up to Date?
    If you haven't had an established procedure for updating contact information on your employees, this lesson ought to convince you that you should. Read "Is Your Employee Contact Info Current?"

First published on 01/01/2001

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