A long time ago in an era not too far away… Before the Internet and online scams fraudsters would impersonate a bank investigator and deceive unsuspecting victims into providing their own money to “assist” a fraud investigation.
The scam, called the Bank Inspector Fraud involves a con artist calling a person and introducing themselves as an Inspector for the bank. The ‘Inspector’ will tell the victim that they are conducting an internal investigation into a bank employee, suspected of stealing money. To try and keep the victim from talking to anyone about the request, the ‘Inspector’ will often say they don’t know exactly who at the bank is committing the crime and that any communication by the victim could ruin the investigation.
The fraudster will request the victim’s assistance by agreeing to go to the bank, withdrawing a substantial sum of money and then meet the ‘Inspector’ outside the bank. The ‘Inspector’ will then promise that all the funds will be deposited back into the victim’s account by the end of the day and they will follow-up with them later.
On October 9th we received our first report of this scam since 2008. There are a few simple precautions that people can take to ensure they don’t fall victim to this type of fraud.
- It’s important to remember that neither your bank nor a police officer will ever request that you assist in an undercover investigation or ask you to withdraw money from your account. If you receive such a suspicious call, hang up and call police.
- Never give out personal bank information over the phone unless you have called your bank and they ask you questions to verify your identity.
- If you need to withdraw a large sum of money for a legitimate purpose, request a bank draft or a money order as this ensures only the intended recipient is able to access the money. Criminals will not accept these forms of payment because it creates a paper trail that can be used by real investigators to track the fraudsters.
- Check your bank statement frequently and report any irregularities to your bank as soon as you notice them.
Sgt. Jereme Leslie #228
SPD File 18-25551 refers