We are in the midst of the holiday season, and if you are a compliance officer at a commercial bank, the odds are someone in your bank will relate to you some story about a client who is in the bank, seeking a quick withdrawal of funds so some emergency. Remember, many people lose their money each December, due to fraud, and if you are called upon to render an opinion, about a professed "emergency." use your experience to protect your clients.
(1) Anyone who receives an urgent email, saying that a friend has been robbed, and lost everything, including their telephone, during a trip to a foreign country, is most likely a fraud victim. have the client call the friend, who will magically answer the phone, as the scenario is totally fictitious.
(2) Calls to relatives, claiming that a loved one has been arrested, and desperately needs bond money to be released, are all bogus, for the relative himself would be making that call, if it was true. Grandparents are the usual targets for this scam.
(3) A bogus kidnapping threat, and demand for ransom, when the supposed victim is really safe, and totally unaware of the scam, is a common fraud.
(4) Allegations that the victim has won a lottery (with he never entered), and that he just needs processing fees paid up front, to receive his winnings, is another common attempt to steal money from greedy individuals, who totally forget that they would have had to purchase a ticket to qualify as a winner.
(5) Lastly, the advance fee fraud; the victim, who needs funds, is hit up for 10% of the amount he needs for a loan. No lender ever requires fees in advance, as they deduct them fro the loan proceeds at closing.
Therefore, if a bank client hurriedly demands a large amount from hi account, and appears to be under pressure, make sure that the need for funds is genuine, if bank staff call upon you to determine whether a fraud is in progress.
Contributed by Kenneth Rijock
Chronicles of Monte Friesner