Bank Inspector Schemes

February 20, 2013

Steps of a Possible Scheme:

1. The fraudster will claim to be a bank inspector trying to trap a dishonest bank employee at your bank. The first approach is usually by telephone. 

2. You will be asked to withdraw money from your account and give it to the con artist for use as evidence against the employee, perhaps through fingerprints or other investigation. 

3.You will be cautioned to maintain the utmost secrecy so that the bank employees aren't alerted and you may even be offered a reward for your co-operation. But of course the phoney bank inspector just disappears, and so does your money.

In Vancouver, an unknown male suspect, posing as a bank employee, is contacting elderly women by telephone asking them to assist in identifying a bank employee committing theft. The suspect asks the victim to withdraw cash, in amounts typically between $3,000 - $5,000, from her bank account and meet him outside the bank. The suspect is professional and well spoken. Suspect description: White male, approximately 65-70 years of age, wearing English style cap and tweed jacket. The Better Business Bureau offers the following advice:

Remind yourself:
- NO bank employee or police officer will ever ask you to withdraw your money for ANY reason. If anyone asks you to do so, call the police or your bank manager right away.

- Nobody should ever discuss personal banking details with someone whose identity they do not know. People receiving such calls should take the callers' name and telephone number and then phone the bank at the publicly-listed number in the telephone directory and ask to be connected to the party by name.

How To Take Caution and Report Schemes:
- Police encourage the use of Telus Personal Call Management Services and/or *69 to obtain the telephone number of the last person who called the victim's telephone line. This will assist police in an investigation.

- Family members are encouraged to warn senior members, especially women living alone, about the perils of trusting individuals who call them claiming to be bank employees.

- The best defence against this scheme is fraud prevention by awareness. This topic is being addressed through the Wise Owls component of Heads Up BC officially launched and involves seniors teaching seniors about the bank inspector fraud (and deceptive telemarketing practices). This program is run through the BC Crime Prevention Association at (604) 529-1552.