Regina police warn against “Phony Bank Inspector Scam”

The Regina Police Service is warning the public of a new incident of a fraud known as the “Phony Bank Inspector Scam”. Police are concerned that there may be more attempts or victims of this type of fraud and are asking people to be aware that this scam is active again in Regina. On June 16, 2010, the Regina Police Service received a report of an 81 year-old female who appears to have become the latest victim of a fraud artist posing as a “bank inspector”. On Tuesday, June 15, 2010, the victim withdrew large amounts of cash from her account at a financial institution in the 2000 block of 11th Avenue and, on the instruction of an unknown male caller, turned the money over to an adult male she met in the 2200 block of 11th Avenue.

This incident is under investigation and police are asking anyone with information to contact police.

Typically, this scam starts with a phone call to a resident, usually a senior citizen, from a person claiming to be an “inspector” for the local branch of a bank. The “inspector” tells the resident that he is investigating dishonest activities of a bank employee and appeals to the senior for help in the investigation. The “inspector” gets the victim to agree to take a large sum of money out of his or her bank account in cash. Then the victim waits at a pre-arranged location, turns the cash over to the “inspector” in the belief that the “inspector” will re-deposit the money into the victim’s account, using the teller alleged to be under investigation. The theory given to the victim is that the “inspector” will try to catch the employee in the act of stealing money. In fact, the “inspector” does not work for a bank, never tries to re-deposit any cash and disappears with the victim’s money. Because bank employees are alert and may ask questions when clients withdraw large sums of cash, perpetrators of the “Phony Bank Inspector Scam” may instruct the victim to say the cash is needed for a family emergency, if asked.

The Regina Police Service reminds Regina residents to exercise caution in any phone conversation with individuals requesting financial or personal information.

1. Banks never engage clients in any sort of internal investigations or quality control audits. If you are in doubt, contact your bank or financial institution, by calling the number listed in your phone book, not a phone number suggested by the caller.

2. Police advise that you should never give personal financial information or a Social Insurance Number over the phone in any call where you have not initiated the contact. 

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