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BankersOnline Security Spotlight

On July 21, 2011 the Dodd-Frank Act celebrated its first anniversary. That is also the date the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau opened for business. There has been a substantial amount of activity in the first year of the Dodd-Frank Act's existence. Significantly more activity is to follow. This program reviews the final and proposed lending-related regulations issued under the Dodd-Frank Act in the past twelve months. It also reviews the activities and leadership structure of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The program ensures that participants are keeping pace with the changes from the Dodd-Frank Act.

VISA Debit Card Error Resolution: Do we always lose?
December 7
MasterCard Debit Card Error Resolution: Do we always lose?
December 14 β€”
by Brian Crow
VISA and MasterCard chargeback procedures outline what is required of the card issuer, merchant, and cardholder should a dispute arise between a cardholder and a merchant, or if a card is used fraudulently. However, these rules can often create confusion as to how they should be applied to the dispute that crosses your desk. To further complicate matters, in many instances Regulation E will also apply to the cardholder's dispute and not be in harmony with the chargeback procedures. We are left wondering how long we have to complete an investigation, when to provide provisional credit, and when to ask a cardholder to contact the merchant before accepting a dispute.

Mobile Banking
January 25, 2012
by Paul Carrubba and Dan Fisher

Technology once again has transformed the banking space. Smart Phones and Wi-Fi availability are placing extreme pressure on financial institutions to keep up with the pace of change. It is no longer a matter of what to do as much as it is a matter of when your institution will implement a mobile banking solution. Customers are mobile and you need to be too! What are the options? Will text only banking be enough? What about bill pay and internet enrollment? What are some of the legal and regulatory issues? Learn about these issues and others in this information-packed two-hour presentation by Paul Carrubba and Dan Fisher.
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Robbery Prevention - NO HATS Signage

Stealing From Within: Embezzlement & Data Theft

Combatting Internal Fraud Before It Happens

Embezzlers: Working With Liars, Cheats & Thieves

Welcome to the December issue of Security Spotlight
In this month's Security Spotlight, read about two completely unrelated bank robbers who hit the same two SunTrust Banks - twice.As the holiday season approaches, be on the alert for counterfeit cash, fraudulent card transactions and seasonal scams -- and don't overlook insider theft. This issue includes links to some tools to help you educate your staff and consumers during this busy time of year.
Even when you first succeed, try again...
La-la-laughing all the way...The idiom "laughing all the way to the bank" is used to imply that an individual has managed to make a lot of money very easily or in a way other people might think is unfair, like robbing banks, for instance - if you don't get caught that is. Tampa Bay area stand-up comedian Jeffrey Brent Lluis wasn't delivering a punch line and his "audience" of bank employees wasn't laughing when he allegedly robbed a SunTrust bank on a Tuesday afternoon and threatened to "blow the bank up" if he didn't get the cash. Noting the similarity to the comedian (who had a previous arrest for bank robbery in 2007) while viewing surveillance footage, investigators questioned Lluis on Wednesday but didn't have enough evidence to arrest him.Local authorities got the last laugh, however, when Lluis returned to rob the same SunTrust branch on Thursday and witness accounts lead them again to Lluis. The risible robber was arrested on two counts of robbery as well as several violations of probation.

There's no place like "home"
Maurice Emile was on a bank-robbing spree up and down the east coast when his luck ran out in Richmond, VA. When Emile hit up a SunTrust Bank branch in Richmond in April, the teller slipped a GPS device into his loot. A Richmond police officer tracked him down after the robbery on the local interstate, sitting in traffic. As the officer approached his car, he said "you got me...go ahead and call the Feds, they've got other warrants on me."

During his trial in November, Emile compared himself to a character who couldn't get used to life out of prison in themovie The Shawshank Redemption. A bemused jury listened to the serial robber describe circling the bank twice after robbing it, and how he believed many convicts try to get back in prison after being released.Emile was convicted of robbery but the jury split initially on whether to give him just a few years or the full twenty. They compromised and recommended 12 years. What the jury didn't know was that in September jailers accidentally set Emile free and he immediately returned to SunTrust bank and robbed it again. He was caught within two hours of leaving the jail, a couple of blocks from the bank. He didn?t run. He just gave up and was taken back in.Emile has been indicted on a robbery charge in the second incident. The repeat offender's record includes more than a dozen convictions, including one in the 1990s for a shooting and another for a bank robbery several years later. Since Emile's arrest in April, he has confessed to at least six robberies.

Check our Bank Robbery page for photos and information on all the latest robbery suspects. 39 bank bandits with unknown identities fill our suspects gallery this month.All but 8 of them are wearing some type of hat or head covering.Putting up signs and enforcing the "no hats, no hoods, no sunglasses" policy could help deter many of these robbers.

Funny Money and Trained Thieves

Counterfeit Cash - 'Tis the seasonfor holiday cheer and goodwill...and unfortunately also for fraud and theft. You may not be hearing much about counterfeit cash lately, but it is still out there just waiting to be deposited at your teller window. In Salisbury, MD, Anthony Johnson is accused of trying to pass counterfeit bills at the local Wal-Mart. (Johnson was also found to have illegal drugs in his possession so be careful. These are not just "white collar" criminals you might be dealing with.)

In Ft. Worth, TX, Charles Nowden was sentenced to 80 years in prison for buying movie tickets and hot dogs with counterfeit cash.Also in North Texas, Brent Bakewell and Keeley Dunnam, freshmen at the University of North Texas, were arrested after making and passing counterfeit $1 and $20 bills.

In Lincoln, NB, Brian Maxwell was sentenced to two years and nine months for making his funny money.Maxwell is also in prison for numerous other counts, including theft, obstruction and failure to register as a sex offender.

The Secret Service has a few helpful resources to combat counterfeit cash: Know Your Money and How to Detect Counterfeit Money are two of their sites.

Bank Manager gifts $ himself - Matthew Walker was a bank manager at Farmers & Merchants Bank in Orange County, CA when he took $1,973,000 from a trust account over a 16 month period.He has accepted a plea deal which may send him to prison for four years.While the bank has replaced the money, Walker will have to pay restitution to the bank. (Don't laugh.... it could happen.)

Financial Specialist helps himself to $500k -Librado Wright is a former Wachovia Bank "financial specialist" who is behind bars. Wright moved $574,315 from accounts owned mostly by senior citizens into accounts he opened and controlled.He worked at Wachovia for 13 months beginning in February, 2008. In March 2009 as he was attempting to transfer $337,000 into his fraudulent accounts, the signature on a check and two electronic transfers raised some red flags for bank staff. Alert Wachovia staff were credited for the discovery of this fraudulent scheme.

Two decades of theft - George Powers, a former cashier at the Iowa State Bank, pleaded guilty to a theft that spanned 19 years during which he embezzled $6 million. The bank is filing a civil lawsuit and attempting to freeze all of Powers' assets. He bought property, autos and an RV with his ill-gotten gains. This insider theft was detected by an FDIC examiner who found a discrepancy in the bank?s general ledger. Powers was put on administrative leave and resigned the next day.

Even Theft is Bigger in Texas - Celina Villarreal of the Laredo, TX border town pleaded guilty to a theft of $8 million. She was a bank officer at Compass Bank and withdrew funds from bank customer accounts. She used the funds to buy autos, a condo on South Padre Island and for investments. She faces 30 years in prison, and she too will have to pay restitution. (Let?s hope she was better at investing than she was at covering her tracks.) An internal auditor discovered the theft.

While we all like to think we can trust our fellow employees and officers, we must recognize that theft happens and often there are signs as well as common reasons insiders steal. Signs of theft should never be ignored or pushed aside because the person suspected of stealing works in the bank or has worked for the bank for many years. Each and every bank employee must realize they are held to a higher standard and should avoid even the appearance of impropriety. When there is that glimmer of suspicion, it must be discretely addressed by the appropriate personnel.

Alerts & Threads
If you are looking for peer-to-peer discussions with other security officers, the public security forum has a discussion on the use ofrelay service calls by thieves who see this as a way to penetrate accounts. Other discussions of interest include: what should happen to returned bank statements and notifying other branches after a robbery. There's many more discussions taking place so jump on over to the our public security forum now.

The Private Forum also has a security section where more sensitive discussions take place over things like the latest spam and scams, embezzlement by the bank president?s son, and what you do when a known suspect is in your bank at that moment.All these topics and a lot more are being discussed in the Private Security and Private +Law Enforcement forums.

To comment in the BOL 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.

Criminals Don't Take Holidays Off

As we approach the holiday season, the pace of CrimeDex alerts has already begun to pick up. November's alerts started with requests for help from two California police departments attempting to identify suspects involved in separate debit card and credit card fraud cases. Those alerts were closely followed by one involving takeovers of truckers' T-Chek accounts through a compromise of their login credentials. The stolen credentials were used to make fraudulent withdrawals at major truck stops across the country. A fraudulent lottery scam was the subject of an alert involving Western Union transfers to two Jamaican nationals living in Colorado and a victim in Massachusetts. A credit card processor reported fraudulent merchant applications involving ID thefts in North Carolina, and a Pennsylvania bank reported an individual for check cashing and split deposit fraud. Wrapping up our selection from this month's alerts is one from the U.S. Postal Inspection Service concerning counterfeit postal money orders recovered in the Salt Lake City area that appear to involve another attempt at a "Sovereign Citizen" scam.

BOL CrimeDex can help your bank recover losses through cooperation with law enforcement, retailers and other bank security professionals. Subscribers can also help avoid losses by using CrimeDex alerts as training examples for staff members.

CrimeDex is now FREE to registered members of the Bankers' Threads
Private Security Forum! Get the details and subscribe now!

If you are a current registered user for the threads, but don't yet have access to the private forums, using your bank email address send a request for access to Once your registration/request is approved, you can access the Private Security forum here.

Blogging on Facebook
Be sure to look at the November 21 post on our Facebook page. While Black Friday may be over, the holiday shopping season is well underway and smartphones are at the top of the list for thieves this year - those left unwatched by your bank staff and your customers who bank on those phones.

Another entry that day has a story about 28 people who were skimming ATM cards. Read the where, why and how on our Facebook page.

In case you may have missed the November Security Spotlight Extra edition sent out in late November, we are again providing the link here to a new training tool for security that is useful for both staff and employees this time of year. The Atlanta Police Department and Midnight Blue created a Holiday Crime Prevention PowerPoint. View and download it for free at Banker Tools page.
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First published on 11/30/2011

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