Scam-Fighting Superheroes: iTHINK Financial

March 5, 2020

Scam-Fighting Superheroes of the Month: iTHINK Financial

 

With fraud losses by older adults growing every year, it is crucial for financial institution staff and other professionals to know how to recognize and respond to fraud and elder financial exploitation.

 

Recently, iTHINK Financial staff members Marissa Campbell, Susan Fitton, Mark Pereira, and Ping Zhao all worked together to intervene in a situation where an older credit union member was being scammed.

 

The member came to the credit union office and asked to withdraw $20,000 cash. This member had been involved with a different scam in the past, and credit union staff had placed an alert message on the account at that time. The alert prompted the teller to call a Senior Loss Prevention Administrator over to assist the member.

 

When iTHINK staff asked the member about the withdrawal, he would not give many details. Concerned about the possibility of a scam, a staff person took the member to a private area to learn more about the transaction. The member shared that he had some computer repairs done and the IT person on the phone—who turned out to be a scammer—said they had “accidentally overcharged” him. The scammer then asked for the member’s online banking information so they could “repay him the $400 credit he was due.” Once the scammer got into the account, the scammer told the member that they had accidentally credited him $40,000 instead of $400.  Due to this “mistake,” the scammer asked the member to send back $40,000 in cash.

 

Credit union staff looked closely at the member’s account and found that the scammer did put $40,000 into the member’s checking account, but the money was actually a transfer from another of the member’s own accounts. The member would have been sending the scammers his own savings if a financial professional had not stepped in to help. Fortunately, the staff members who intervened were able to show the member what had really happened and prevent him from sending the cash.

 

Thank you to iTHINK Financial staff members Marissa Campbell, Susan Fitton, Mark Pereira, and Ping Zhao for your efforts to fight fraud and help older adults! 

 

This type of intervention is a crucial step in helping prevent elder fraud, scams, and exploitation.

 

If your organization would like to receive training on how to recognize and respond to elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation, please contact the Elder Rights Center at (561) 684-5885

 

The Elder Rights Center wants to recognize other “scam-fighting superheroes” in our community.

 

 If you know of someone who has gone above and beyond to help an older adult in a situation involving fraud, scams, or exploitation, please call (561) 684-5885 x59230 or email evolunteer@youradrc.org to let us know!

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