January 14, 2013 - - The Community Bankers Association of Illinois (“CBAI”) has learned that the Illinois Department on Aging (“Agency”) and Springfield Police have reported a scam aimed at older citizens. In recent cases, the scammer telephones older accountholders (“Senior” or “Seniors”), claiming to be an employee of the Seniors’s bank who is calling to rectify a situation in which a bank employee is supposedly stealing money from the Senior’s account(s). The scammer convinces the Senior that in order to help build a case against the phony thief, the Senior should cooperate with the investigation by withdrawing money from the affected account and delivering it to a person who is, in fact, the scammer. In two recent cases in Springfield, the scammer successfully took $7,000 from two Seniors.
CBAI has consistently encouraged community banks to inform customers, particularly Seniors who are often more susceptible to scammers, to be cautious about unsolicited offers or about solicitations for confidential bank account information. Recently, CBAI reminded community banks that cashiers’ checks often negotiated by vulnerable Seniors to pay for fraudulent goods, services or investment opportunities are not subject to any stop payment process or protection.
CBAI is taking this opportunity to advise banks about this recent scam in Springfield, affording banks once again the opportunity to consider appropriate communications, signage, or other means of conveying a warning to accountholders, particularly Seniors. Although such measures are optional and within the discretion of Illinois banks at this time, CBAI believes that Illinois banks informed of these scams might choose to take reasonable measures to notify and alert Seniors.
Click here to read the Agency’s Press Release issued on Friday, January 11, 2013.