BANK INVESTIGATOR SCAM RESURFACES
Police would like to make the public aware of a fraud scam that is making a come back in Ontario.
The scam consists of suspect(s) contacting potential victims (mostly seniors) by phone advising that they require their assistance to catch a bank employee that “has been stealing money”. The victim is instructed to go to their bank and make a cash withdrawal, (some are instructed in 100 dollar bills). The victim is told not to tell the bank teller what they are doing because the teller may be involved. The victim is instructed to place the cash in an envelope and meet the ‘Investigator’ in a nearby parking lot where the cash is turned over. If successful the ‘Investigator attempts a further request for funds to ensure the investigation is a success. In one occasion the ‘Investigator’ also asked if the senior had any cash at home because the employee had been handing out counterfeit money. The senior turned over 6,000.00 in cash from the residence which the “investigator” confirmed was counterfeit by looking at the serial numbers.
Recently, there has been a resurgence of these scams reported in Ontario and Manitoba. One victim in Parry Sound in December 2015 lost $4,800.00 to this fraud.
In 2015 the Canadian Anti Fraud Centre (CAFC) has received over 40 complaints, of which 25 victims reported a total dollar loss of $235,000.00. In January 2015 – another description was given about the suspect named “Mr. WILCOX” as white male, 55-60 years old, close to 6’ tall, 180-190lbs, clean shaven, wearing a baseball cap and a navy blue jacket similar to a wind-breaker and he had no accent when he spoke. Suspect descriptors; from the victims in Ontario were of a White male, medium height, 40 to 50 years of age, clean shaven, wearing a baseball cap. The names used by the suspect(s) were:
From 2009 and 2010 – Saskatchewan also saw victims of this scam and they described a Male, medium height, 30 to 40 years of age, clean shaven and one female made a call in one of the occurrences. The names used by the suspect(s) were:
There is another version of the bank investigator scam that is going around – also called the Recovery Scam. Victims are being called by suspects pretending to be employees with Visa, MasterCard or a bank advising that there was an authorized purchase on their credit or debit card (often from EBay). The suspect then asks the victim to confirm their card number and other personal information in order for them to reverse the charge. In some cases, in order to “help catch the hackers”, the victims were told to give the suspect remote access to their computer. In doing so, the suspects are able to access their online banking or help the victim create one and funds are then moved from their savings into their chequing account to make it look like the police or the bank “gave them money to help catch the hackers”. That money is then withdrawn from their account. The amounts range from a couple hundred to several thousand dollars. The suspects have been calling from various numbers; one of which was 909-585-1400.
Police remind the public that they are under no obligation to provide personal information over the telephone or internet. Take the time to confirm who is requesting the information and make sure it is from a legitimate source. If in doubt contact police and remember…Know Who You Are Dealing With.