How Fighting Fraud and Customer Service Go Hand in Hand

posted on Wednesday, June 5, 2024 in SHAZAM Blog

Article Contributor – Cory Hart, VP, Marketing & Communications

Cyber criminals continue to launch a variety of attacks on older Americans. Scammers use a variety of social engineering tricks on seniors to lure them into giving up their money or personal information. Once successful, scammers often try to keep a scheme going for a bigger payout. It's a devious deceit I’m familiar with because it happened to my mom.   

The con started on social media when a scammer contacted my mom, looking to befriend her and form a personal connection. Once they gained her trust, they started asking her for money paid to them in gift cards. Once they got paid, they became more audacious in what they wanted, tricking her into giving up her personal information. That’s when they started opening credit cards in her name.  

The scam may have kept going if it wasn’t for her local financial institution. Her bank notified us when my mom tried to wire thousands of dollars to someone to buy cryptocurrency. Once the bank confirmed the fraudulent activity, they took immediate action to stop any additional fraudulent withdrawals. The bank has also been manually posting transactions and monitoring the account. They opened a new account and highlighted all the automatic payments we needed to update to keep household services up and running.  

The bank my mom is a customer of went above and beyond in their customer service. It's a prime example of what sets community financial institutions apart from the rest of the pack. Employees of community financial institutions take pride in providing a high level of personalized service for their accountholders. In fact, many of them know their clients as individuals. These relationships and personalized service helped our family immensely. It helped my mom, and us, start to take back control of her personal and financial information.  

My connections of working at SHAZAM also gave us additional insights into how to protect my mom from any additional losses. Once I learned what was happening, I sought out the advice of our fraud prevention experts. Their knowledge and expertise were valuable in guiding us through the steps to take to prevent any additional losses. They also gave us advice on how to cut off contact with the scammers and the additional red flags to look out for, knowing the scammers would try to win back my mom’s trust to keep their cash flow going. For example, they’ve sent multiple checks for her to cash and deposit into one of their accounts.  

But not everyone is as privileged as I am to work alongside fraud prevention experts. However, what I and so many others have in common is, they have dedicated people who work at a local financial institution on their side. You probably noticed the warning signs in our story in how my mom was randomly contacted via social media by someone she didn’t know, was asked to pay the fraudsters a certain way and solicited to give up her sensitive information. 

I encourage you to keep educating your accountholders about these and other tricks scammers use to steal people’s money and personal information because my mom is not alone. A recently released FBI report states Americans older than 60 lost $3.4 billion to scams in 2023 with the average dollar loss from those complaints being $33,915. Nearly 6,000 people lost more than $100,000. By sharing knowledge about a scammer’s tricks, you can help avoid your accountholders from being a part of this statistic.  

SHAZAM, Inc. and ITS, Inc. provide this blog for general informational purposes only. Our blog may be shared by a direct link wherein the content remains as originally presented and has not been altered. SHAZAM, Inc. and ITS, Inc. assume no responsibility for errors or omissions in the contents on the blog. By using this blog, reader agrees that the information published does not constitute nor is a substitute for legal advice which should only be sought from a qualified, licensed attorney. 


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