Welcome to the April Issue of the Security Spotlight
Elder Abuse Warning Signs
Despite new legislation adopted by states over the past decade, elder fraud is on track to become the fastest growing crime over the next ten years. Only one in 44 cases of financial abuse comes to the attention of authorities, and 90 percent of victims are exploited by a relative, friend, or trusted acquaintance, according to the National Adult Protective Services Association. Financial institutions need to train staff to recognize the warning signs of elder fraud, including (but not limited to):
- Request for a debit card by the caregiver or a family member.
- Excessive use of ATMs at locations where surveillance video is not captured.
- The purchase of items not normally used by seniors, i.e., baby clothes, expensive electronics, or items benefitting the caregiver.
- The caregiver is suddenly the only person you see in your offices or branches conducting transactions on behalf of an elderly customer.
Big bucks for both bandits...In two separate states, just two days apart, at two different banks, two armed bank robbers left an indelible impression. Rewards have been offered for the capture of either one: $10,000 each – or $20k collectively. In Loris, SC, on February 21, a suspicious character (pictured left) entered the Anderson Brothers Bank wearing a red bandana, dark sunglasses, and some sort of mask that concealed his mouth when he spoke. The man approached the teller holding a black pistol, forced bank workers at gunpoint to the vault, and demanded that the victims load the contents of the vault into two black trash bags. The male suspect is approximately six feet tall and believed to be driving a white sedan. The bank is offering a $10,000 reward for help tracking down the bandit. Anyone with information is asked to contact Horry County Police Department Tip Line at 843-915-8477, or for information on the reward, contact Susan Grant at Anderson Brothers Bank at firstname.lastname@example.org. Three days later, another man (photo on the right) walked into Farmers Bank in Smithfield, VA on February 24, took out a gun and demanded money from the tellers. He fled in a red Jeep Cherokee. The Smithfield Police Department is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of that suspect. Contact the Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP or the Smithfield Police Department at 757-357-3247 with any information.
Check our Bank Robbery page for photos and information on the latest unknown bank bandits, many of them with sunglasses, hats or other head and facial coverings disguising their identity. Enforcing a no hats, hoods and sunglasses policy can help reduce the number of bandits who target your bank. Purchase No Hat Cling signs for all of your branches from the Banker Store.
|Hot Topics from the Bankers Forums|
There were a few discussions in BankersOnline's public Security forum last month. One thread carried over from December on pros and cons of ATMs serviced under single or dual controls. Check out that discussion and more here.
You'll find active discussions on more sensitive security topics in our "Private Security Forum," where bankers discuss issues out of public view. There's also a private forum that invites participation by bankers, regulators and members of law enforcement.
The private forums are the place for security officers to discuss topics like 314a searches, fraud management software, ATM skimming, and more. If you're a registered user of BOL's Discussion Forums, but don't see the Private - Financial Institution Personnel Only forums near the top of the Forums list, use your bank email address to send an access request to email@example.com. Once your request is approved, you can access the Private Security forum here.
Crime knows no season
As bluebonnets and other wildflowers start painting the landscapes of Texas and spring begins across the country, the mood is one of change. One thing that doesn't change, however, is the pace at which scams, schemes, fraud and other nefarious crimes continue to assail banks and their customers. Every month, BOL CrimeDex subscribers post alerts attempting to identify suspects who have victimized their banks or their customers, or to share information to help other subscribers recognize thieves and scammers so they can avoid becoming victims themselves. Here is a sampling of alerts posted to CrimeDex in the last 30 days:
- Aventura, Florida, police posted an alert with photos of a suspect who deposited a number of counterfeit checks into a victim's account.
- Fairfax County, Virginia, police sought help identifying suspects involved in fraudulent ATM withdrawals from a victim's account.
- A detective with a sheriff's office in Florida posted an alert in an attempt to identify and apprehend an armed bank robbery suspect.
- Stafford County, Virginia, police posted photos in an alert seeking assistance in identifying a suspect who made several fraudulent deposits and subsequent withdrawals from a victim's account.
- Allegiance Bank, Houston, Texas, posted an alert concerning counterfeit cashier's checks identifying the bank as the issuer.
- Voya Financial sought to identify other victim financial institutions to pursue a joint law enforcement referral in a case involving organized account takeover activity coming from a common Comcast IP cluster in the Philadelphia, PA region. Online attempts were made to target retirement accounts; they shifted to call center attacks when the online channel attempts were unsuccessful.
- A North Carolina police department posted some high-quality photos of a suspect involved in uttering counterfeit checks and ID theft who has opened multiple fraudulent bank accounts in the Atlanta, GA and Charlotte, NC areas.
- Shelby Township, Michigan, police sought information regarding an identified individual and bank account who received wire transfers from victims of romance scams.
- Gainesville, Florida, police asked for help identifying two individuals who passed counterfeit travelers checks at a Target store in that city.
- Walmart security investigators sought help identifying a number of individuals responsible for cashing counterfeit payroll checks in Alar stores in 23 states across the country. According to the alert, the group is responsible for Walmart losses of $1.5 million and for additional failed attempts at cashing another $2.06 million in checks.
- New York State Police posted an alert concerning fraudulent phone calls in New York involving a fictitious $4.5 million in overseas "unclaimed property." The victim sent $20,000 in cash (for "tax" payments) to Florida and New York addresses. The caller ID displayed during the calls was for a Boston, MA, area phone.
Whether its robbery or chicanery, crooks and thieves continue to find ways to separate money from its rightful owners. BOL CrimeDex subscribers get regular emailed alerts about thefts, deception, scams, fraud, counterfeits and a host of other ways to steal, that can be used to help prevent your bank or customers from being victimized, or to help you uncover clues in cases you are pursuing. If you have access to our private forums, read the "CrimeDex Service FREE" notice in the second thread of the "Private - FI Personnel Only" forum.
Throughout the month, we share news-related incidents on Facebook that can be informative examples for training employees on security issues and more. March got off to a slow start, but things picked up quickly. Visit our Facebook page to get up to speed on the latest posts:
Read about 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, and share our page with your fellow Security Officers and bankers, and ask them to "Like" us so they too can stay updated on the latest news!
- The edited video of a takeover-style robbery involving a hostage posted on March 10 could be a great training tool.
- On March 14, we shared about a bandit apprehended in Scottsdale, AZ, whose shoes may have led to his capture.
- Also on March 14, a post we shared highlights why many security officers question the effectiveness of bait money.
- The link to a How-to Guide on Bank Fraud we posted on March 13 may help your bank save its customers from losses.
- Another bank video we shared on March 16, in which the bank's armed guard took down a bank robber, shares two perspectives that could be useful in training.
- Make sure you not only know where your employees are entering and exiting the bank, but that those areas are safe. We share a story on March 17 that highlights how a robber, armed with a knife, found the bank's weak spot.
- If you've ever gotten the call that says "we made a big deposit to the wrong account, how do we get the money back, it's not there any more?" you will want to read our March 19 post.
- During a robbery, noting the suspect's disguise is part of being observant. Our March 21 post is an example of how what your staff sees, and doesn't see, can be vital when providing information about the robber to authorities.
- "Angular phishing" is a new way thieves are targeting your customers. Shared on March 22, this one could be costly if a consumer falls for it.
- They say there's a bad apple in every bunch. Read our first March 24 post to learn from some bad apples who work for and steal from banks.
- Domestic disputes often affect couples outside their homes. Even with no personal connection, the violence can occur in the workplace, as the second story we shared on March 24 sadly tells.
- In Chicago, not one but two bank robbers were caught attempting to flee on mass transit. Get the details in our third March 24 post.
- There is a reason most banks display "No Hat-No Hoodie-No Sunglasses" signs in their lobby. Read our March 26 post to find out why that is.
- Bank robbers are non-discriminatory, some are men, women rob banks, some are fathers – and, as a March 28 story we shared shows, they may even be a mother of four.
- Also on March 28, a post highlights how effective a good photo can be in catching a bank robber when others recognize him...and the suspect's social media page gives away his identity.
- And we closed out the month on March 29 with a story about a bank robber who hadn't left the teller window when police arrived and grabbed him – possibly one of the fastest arrests on record.