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#557665 - 05/24/06 10:06 PM Scams
CrashDavis Offline
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Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 283
Our bank customers have been receiving scams through e-mail and by mail. In most situations, when they bring a check in that is fraudulent, our teller catches it and tells the customer what it is. Other situations, the teller either doesn't catch it but puts a Reg CC hold and the check comes back before the customer can get the money.

My question is do I have to file a SAR on all these and/or do I report all these to the Secret Service or FBI or other federal agency.

If I have to, I will be filing all the time these situations. We been lucky in that our bank has not taken a loss. In most situations we have saved the customer money but not all the time.

Thanks for your help.

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#557666 - 05/25/06 04:42 AM Re: Scams
rlcarey Online
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rlcarey
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 80,393
Galveston, TX
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#557667 - 05/25/06 02:43 PM Re: Scams
Georgia Golfer Offline
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Georgia Golfer
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 415
1st Tee
We have a customer that tried to deposit a counterfeit "lottery" check in Nov of last year. He tried to deposit another last week & yet another yesterday. I had a conversation with him yesterday and tried to get him to see that these checks are NEVER going to be good. He's convinced that they are & even went so far as to tell me that after we confiscated his check yesterday that he called the "lottery" office and they cancelled that check and are overnighting him another.

I mean, Really?

We're closing this account, for obvious reasons. My question is whether or not to file a SAR. The bank hasn't taken a loss, but this is the 3rd time in 8 months. I know that the FBI is not going to care about this idiot, but what about the regulators?

I'm leaning towards not filing based on the fact that we haven't lost any money & just document it in my SAR's not filed file.

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#557668 - 05/25/06 03:46 PM Re: Scams
CrashDavis Offline
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Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 283
After looking at the website that rlcarey gave me to look at. That is what I am going to do in the future. Maintain a file and indicate a SAR was not filed and give the reason. If we filed SARs on these type of situations, that is all we would be doing.

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#557669 - 05/25/06 04:08 PM Re: Scams
Elwood P. Dowd Offline
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Elwood P. Dowd
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 21,939
Next to Harvey
Georgia,
That's really close to the SAR case study I use sometimes. In essence, these cases generally turn on an analysis that concludes the customer is ignorant or stupid. Thus, you do not have a suspect. However, as you note, the customer has made multiple attempts after being informed repeatedly that the items were fraudulent. Now the choice is between stupid or dishonest. If you conclude the customer is dishonest then the threshold for filing is $5,000 regardless of whether you lost any money.

My grandfather told me: Never assume dishonesty when stupidity is an equally plausible excuse. I've used that to resolve a number of questionable circumstances in my life and found it to be a very good rule.

You need to write it up as a case where you considered filing a SAR, but my conclusion would be that "...the customer was unsophisticated, appeared to actually believe that the item was valid even in the face of evidence to the contrary, and had no apparent intent to facilitate a fraudulent transaction." That sounds better than the shorthand phrase, but means the same thing. By the way, the fact that you closed the account (good decision) runs counter to this conclusion.
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#557670 - 05/25/06 04:22 PM Re: Scams
susie spongehead Offline
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susie spongehead
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 111
In my imagination
We have a slightly different situation. An elderly customer received a letter and check in the mail stating that she won some lottery in Europe. The customer was instructed to deposit the funds into her bank account and wire the funds the following day-which she did. Of course the check was returned as fraudelant. As a result we had to charge the returned check against the customer's account.

We have decided to file a SAR... but my question is...and please excuss me if it's obvious to everyone else but me...do we file it on the customer or the person that sent the letter/check?
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#557671 - 05/25/06 04:36 PM Re: Scams
Elwood P. Dowd Offline
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Elwood P. Dowd
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 21,939
Next to Harvey
You know that the author of the letter is a fraudster and, hence, a suspect. However, it is unlikely that the name or any other information provided is valid. Hence, the author is not a suspect you can identify. Considering that person does not rise to the level of an identifiable suspect, your threshold for filing is $25,000.

Next, you consider your customer. She is clearly known to you and the issue is whether you think she was ignorant or dishonest; i.e. was she the victim or the accomplice? If you believe your customer was the intended victim and her participation was unwitting, the threshold for filing remains $25,000. If you believe your customer was dishonest; i.e. a knowing accomplice, then your threshold is $5,000.

The key to any decision to file or not in these circumstances is your conclusion on whether the customer was the accomplice or the victim. As the fraudster is usually unknown, it's your decision regarding the customer that dictates the filing threshold.

The resources rlcarey linked above clearly indicate that even in circumstances where the amount involved does exceed $25,000, sometimes the relevant agencies simply don't want to hear about it anymore if there is no loss.
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#557672 - 05/27/06 08:24 AM Re: Scams
babenimue Offline
New Poster
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 5
We've been hearing a lot with this Australian Lottery scam that's spreading around this week. The sheriff told us people who try to cash the check could get arrested cuz they're trying to cash the counterfeit checks.

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