The Farmers Bank held a seminar/luncheon entitled Security Safeguards Wednesday at Arborwood with the emphasis being the best ways on how to deal with and protect yourself from the various types of frauds that now in vogue.
“We just see this happening more and more in the bank with our customers being taken advantage of in fraud situations,” said Farmers Bank Vice President Brad Cunningham. “We keep talking about how we’re going to get the word out. We think its best when they hear from a third party like the FBI.”
To that end, Farmers Bank had two individuals from the FBI — Forensic Accountant Christopher Knight and Supervising Special Agent Douglas Kasper — to talk to the approximately 75 individuals who attended the seminar.
Knight said there are three characteristics of white collar crime. They are unique victimization, the offender is identifiable and the offense is visible. He added white collar crime is different than regular crime saying the perpetrators are 69 percent male, between the ages of 31-50 70 percent of the time and have been tenured in their place of employment from one to 10 years.
Kasper said there has been a 270 percent increase in the number of identified victims since January 2015 and over 17,000 verified complaints totaling $23 billion since October 2013.
One of the handouts given was 10 things you can do to avoid fraud. They are as follows:
- Spot imposters.
- Do online searches.
- Don’t believe your caller ID.
- Don’t pay upfront for a promise.
- Consider how you pay.
- Talk to someone.
- Hang up on robocalls.
- Be skeptical about free trial offers.
- Don’t deposit a check and wire money back.
- Sign up for free scam alerts from the FTC at ftc.gov/scams
“I feel like we’re ahead of the game especially for our size bank and our size community,” said Cunningham. “This is the second time we’ve done this. We did this about five years and had a good turnout. We feel like we need to do that and keep in front of our customers.”