Ma’am, Can I Ask You A Question? CNY Bank Saves Woman Thousands in Scam
Employees at a Central New York bank branch thought something didn't seem right, and following their guts helped save an elderly woman thousands of dollars as she was unknowingly caught-up in a scam.
It happened recently at the South Utica Adirondack Bank branch. After the woman completed a withdrawal for $3,200, which she said was to pay off a contractor, she then asked for an $8,600 cash advance, bank officials said.
"At that time, Kelly Deridder, Branch Operations Supervisor, became suspicious. She asked the customer to join her in the Branch Manager’s office," ADK Bank officials said later.
After asking a couple of questions, bank staff learned the woman had been targeted in a well known scam where an elderly person receives a phone call with wild claims that a loved one has been arrested, or has been in an accident of some kind and money is immediately needed to rectify the situation.
This victim confessed she had received a phone call saying her son was involved in an accident and that she needed send thousands of dollars to bail him out of jail. Oh, and the added instruction: Don't tell anybody about this.
Banks employees Kelly and Anthony Zammiello were convinced this wasn't adding up and called the woman's son to verify he was alright. He was. Ultimately, it's believed their intervention saved the woman about $12,000 from the unknown scammers, bank officials said.
"This is an example of how important it is to react to your suspicions, to be mindful of the many types of scams that are being used, to ask good questions, and to take whatever actions are necessary to save a customer from becoming a victim," Adirondack Bank officials said in a release commending employees for their action.