The Niagara Regional Police Service – Central Fraud Unit is warning both the public and financial institutions that a common scam known as the bank examiner or bank investigator scam is again targeting residents in Niagara. In many cases, the suspects target seniors.
In this scam, unsolicited callers identify themselves as bank employees, usually a position of authority, such as manager or an investigator, and convince the victim to assist in the apprehension of a dishonest employee. The suspect convinces the victim that an employee at their branch is under investigation for some impropriety and a number of accounts have been compromised. The suspect then enlists the assistance of the victim by having them remove a sum of cash from their personal account and either turn it over to the suspect at an off-site location, or deposit the funds to ‘a dummy account’ that would be used to catch the dishonest employee . The victim is told this action would directly assist in apprehending the crooked employee. Once the cash is turned over, the suspect disappears and the victim suffers a significant financial loss.
These fraud artists are very convincing in their approaches. In some instances, the suspects have been able to convince their victims to make multiple withdrawals.
The NRPS has received one complaint in Niagara so far. However, if past history is an indication, more victims will be targeted. Police wish to remind the public that at no time will a financial institution or the police enlist the services of a member of the public in any sting. Police advise the public that should they receive such a call do not become involved in an effort to apprehend these criminals.