Bank fraud is pretty serious business, and investigating it is important work. Banks do not, however, need you to help. If someone calls you up claiming to need your help with an investigation, do not help them. Do not withdraw thousands of dollars from the bank and give it to the “investigator.” It’s too late for two elderly women outside of Albany, New York, who withdrew $5,800 and $6,400 from their accounts, respectively.
Ostensibly, the women were helping the fake investigators catch a crooked bank teller last week. The women were told to withdraw cash and give it to a second person, which they would receive back. The first victim, who was 81 years old, waited for a phone call about the teller’s arrest as well as her refund. The second, age 91, was instructed to wait for the investigator at a Trustco Bank branch. The bank contacted police after she had waited for an hour.
It’s important to discuss scams that targeting the elderly with the people you know: schemes that are familiar to people who spend a lot of time reading blogs and surfing Snopes may be utterly unfamiliar to people who just haven’t caught word of certain scams when stories appear about them on the TV news or in the paper.
Update: Reader Brian wrote in to say that he caught an episode of “Dragnet” that aired in 1967 and featured this exact same scam. Exactly the same, right down to targeting the elderly.
Police: Beware bank investigator scam [Albany Times Union] (Thanks, Angelos!)