From Murder She Wrote to Law & Order and a number of renditions of CSI, we’ve all been intrigued by the inner workings of investigations, and the excitement that comes with nabbing the bad guy. I mean, we’ve watched enough of these shows that by the first commercial break we’ve all been able to name the perpetrator and their motive!
Despite your self-proclaimed expertise on cracking a case, don’t let these shows make you lose your sense of reality when you get a call asking for assistance in a Canadian bank investigation.
Targeting mostly seniors, scammers lure victims in by posing as bank inspectors. The scammers will request assistance in a series of fraud cases that have been committed by a dishonest teller at their local bank.
Swearing the victim to secrecy, the scammer will ask the victim to withdraw a large amount of cash from their account but request that they not tell the bank why due to the undercover investigation. Then, the cash would be inspected and used as evidence for the investigation.
Once the cash is withdrawn, the “bank investigator” tells the victim that once they hand over the cash at a pre-determined location, they will be told when their money will be redeposited into their account. It sounds fishy, but unfortunately, people fall for it since they believe they’re needed to help the investigation.
Unfortunately, the victim will never receive the call, never see their money and never know the true identity of the so-called inspector.
If you are the investigative sleuth you believe yourself to be, you would question the validity of the call after the first request. Unfortunately, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of investigations and scammers have been getting the best of us for years. Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be that way.
We all want to catch the bad guy and help as much as we can. However, it’s important to understand a few things:
- Banks and police officials will never request citizen assistance in undercover investigations or, even worse, ask citizens to withdraw money from their account.
- If you receive an unexpected call from a caller you have not confirmed is from a legitimate establishment, do not give any personal or financial information over the phone.
- When withdrawing large amounts of money, request a bank draft or money order. Scammers will not accept these forms of payment as it will create a paper trail and can be used against them in a real investigation.
- Be diligent in checking your bank statements and accounts, and report any questionable activity to your bank as soon as possible.