September 13, 2004
San Francisco fraud investigators are warning the public of a fraudulent scam involving a person posing as a bank examiner contacting an account holder to withdraw money to help the bank entrap a fraud suspect.
In this scam, the “bank examiner” tells the victim that, in order to catch the “suspect,” the account holder must withdraw a certain amount of money, and meet the “suspect” at a certain street location. In one recent incident, the victim was ordered to dress in a certain way so that the “suspect” could recognize the victim. The victim handed over the money and later received a call from the “examiner” saying that the first stage in getting the “suspect” was done, but that the victim must repeat the procedure, withdrawing another specified sum. The victim complied. The victim received a third call, the “examiner” saying that another withdrawal of a specified amount of money was necessary. The victim again complied, handed over the money to the “suspect,” but received no further calls. The victim, an 83-year-old woman, lost a total of $22,500.
Persons should be suspicious of any call purportedly from a bank employee asking the account holder’s help in capturing a fraud suspect by withdrawing money, or from anyone saying that he or she is an employee of a bank and asking for account information for whatever reason. After receiving such a call, account holders should always call the bank to ascertain the validity of the call.
For more information, please contact:
Lieutenant Kenwade Lee
850 Bryant Street, Room 549, San Francisco, CA. 94103