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#2251542 - 03/31/21 02:21 PM SAR or Not. Lotto Scam
Todd Offline
New Poster
Joined: Aug 2020
Posts: 8
A customer was contacted and told they had won $350M in the lotto but needed to pay $15,000 in taxes first. The customer said they did not have that kind of money. The scammer said they would help out by sending them a check for $15,000 to deposit in their account. In return they wanted the customers debit card info ant they would then make the tax payments for them. We stopped this before anything happened.

My question is would you file a SAR on this. It is an currently an unknown subject so it is under the threshold. If we file to be due diligent, it is my understanding that we would need to justify any other scam that comes through that we don't file on if its under the threshold. So is it better to just stick to the thresholds and not open a can of worms?

Thanks for the help.

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#2251546 - 03/31/21 02:31 PM Re: SAR or Not. Lotto Scam Todd
ACBbank Offline
Power Poster
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 3,849
New York City
What transaction(s) went by, to, or through the bank?
"100 victories in 100 battles isnt the most skillful. Subduing the other's military w/o battle is the most skillful." Sun-Tzu

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#2251548 - 03/31/21 02:55 PM Re: SAR or Not. Lotto Scam Todd
ColoradoAML Online
100 Club
Joined: Mar 2018
Posts: 191
Maybe time to enhance procedures to give more criteria for when you will consider filing on SARs that are below threshold. You may want to consider things like the severity of the suspected underlying crime and the usefulness to law enforcement in preventing a crime.

All SAR filings are "inherently subjective," so I wouldn't expect a one-off under threshold SAR to garner a whole lot of criticism as long as you can justify why you decided to do it. Possibly the best place to state the reasoning for filing under threshold would be in the narrative so that you can preempt any questions.

All of that said, I agree with ACB's question. Sounds like no transactions and no subject. I wouldn't file.

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#2251555 - 03/31/21 03:37 PM Re: SAR or Not. Lotto Scam Todd
Todd Offline
New Poster
Joined: Aug 2020
Posts: 8
Nothing made it through the bank. We are currently working on enhanced guide lines and training. Our tellers have been great at stopping these types of fraud before there is any loss. Its a constant battle.

thanks again.

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#2251694 - 04/01/21 07:15 PM Re: SAR or Not. Lotto Scam Todd
Local_Banker Offline
Junior Member
Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 33
While the transaction may not have been posted, if it was stopped at your teller window, or otherwise "attempted" then I would treat it the same way as if the transaction was actually conducted. Maybe your customer has a name, phone number, email address, return address, etc that the scammer used.

As far as having to "justify any other scam that comes through that we don't file on if its under the threshold". If we have suspect info we generally file on all scams no matter the dollar amount (unless we are talking about a de minimis amount). If we don't have useful suspect info then we don't file unless it is over the $25000 threshold. FinCEN has really been pushing the idea that the ultimate goal of the BSA is to pass useful information on to law enforcement, so I would hope that examiners wouldn't pick apart voluntary filings (though you never know with some examiners).

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