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 How should I warn him?

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Aqu
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Joined: 21 Aug 2007
Posts: 2


PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 9:09 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Hi guys, not posted here before but I've been lurking for about 6 months or so just reading some of the impressive baits you've been doing Very Happy

Personally I've never done it but I enjoy watching your lads squirm and jump through hoops, so kudos for that.

But onto my question at hand.

I work for a major bank in the UK and while I was sifting through someones account I noticed he was applying for our lowest type of bank account, usually associated with people on low income or claiming government benefits.

The fellow in question was from the US, recently moved to the UK and was planning to open this bank account in order to move in ฃ2,500,000 that he had won from the 'Online Swiss Lottery' or words to that effect. In order to provide Identity verification for the account he enclosed a printout of the letter he got from the 'Lottery' which just screamed lad scam.

In fact having just googled it now it appears it IS a scam, google for 'online swiss lottery' seems to give results saying 'this is a scam' etc.

I'm just curious if anyone else has had to intervene to stop someone losing money to these lads, because that is clearly what will happen if I do nothing. The only thing is, as part of the bank its not my place to tell a customer what to do with their money and I'm a little concerned that to suggest this is a scam will sound fairly harsh and that I'm effectively calling him stupid.

So I just wondered if anyone has told anyone they were being taken for a ride, and how they actually said it to them. Any advice would be appreciated Smile I'm not gonna let the lads take an innocent bloke for a ride if I can help it.

Cheers
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e6ffdyr0
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Joined: 14 Jun 2005
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 9:25 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Welcome to the eater Very Happy
It is allways nice to have s/o from a bank in here Cool

Sometimes when I impost lads to make friends with them, they pass me victim info (when they hope I can send them out good formats to them or whatever). Happens not too often, though.

The scamwarners.com forum seems the right place for you, though. Having the victims e-mail or phone number and some details on the scammer would help a lot, though. But do not post anything like that in public, but send it to s/o u trust (e.g. one of our nice mods - I like lotta a lot Wink ).

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UncleNed
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Joined: 28 Feb 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 9:30 am Reply with quoteBack to top

There was a thread recently in which someone in your position was asking the same advice, somewhere in the help forum. I'll give a look and post the link here when I find it.

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Julian Day
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Joined: 19 Apr 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 10:09 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Aqu - I'm in the UK, and come across some of the Financial Services legislation, etc., as a sideline to my main professional work.

Isn't there some requirement which states that you should (or even "must") disclose any details of financial irregularities or suspected crime to the relevent authorities, which overides any duties to the customer?

IMHO you MUST take advice immediately from the compliance officer in your bank, certainly don't do anything on your own!!! Shocked
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Doctor X
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Joined: 15 Apr 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 11:33 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I think 99% of people would rather NOT lose their money than lose it.

--J.D.

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M1d0r1
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Joined: 30 May 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 11:45 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Your bank branch will definitely have a compliance officer. Personally, I'd tell him/her and would assume banks have a standard way of dealing with these matters.

I'd also assume a bank would contact a customer if they detected a possible fraud (and Like Dr X, think most customers would welcome it.)

On a plus point, the compliance officer would probably welcome the enquiry (normally, people avoid them like the plague.)
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gargstang
Master Baiter


Joined: 01 Jun 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 2:26 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I am a security officer for a financial institution in the US and have told many people about the scams they may be involved in. Had a recent one we were able to keep from loving money in a dating scam.

There is absolutely no problem telling people where your institution stands on scams. Let them know what you suspect and offer guidance in ways to verify the legitimacy of offers. The very least you can do is plant some seed of doubt in the person's mind.
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bearkat419
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Joined: 25 Jun 2007
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Location: Houston, Texas


PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 3:15 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Tell your supervisor/compliance officer in your bank immediately and follow their advice. I would imagine that posting your clients details to anyone outside the bank without permission could get you in a lot of trouble - even if it is just to the mods here for a good cause. Your bank has a procedure for dealing with this. Maybe print out what you have found indicating it to be a scam and take that to the compliance officer but please don't try to act on your own in this!

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Julian Day
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Joined: 19 Apr 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 3:26 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Good advice, M1d0ri and Gargstang.

Expanding on my earlier post, I'm even more sure that the Compliance/Security officer would be the person to solve the problem by advising on the two aspects of (a) warning the customer, and (b) reporting the scammer to the appropriate regulators if necessary. (The latter might, arguably, not do any good, but the Bank might need to do something to meet legal requirements?)

I'd be very worried that you could be on very "dodgy ground" with your employers, if you took the initiative in making a decision or taking action on your own, which might go against their own policies or regulations?

As gargstang and Doctor X suggest, I'm sure the customer would be less disappointed to know the worst at this early stage, but the Bank are the people to deal with the situation.
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Landrin
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Joined: 01 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 3:53 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

It is in your banks financial interest to prevent such a loan for the sake of your bank's profit.
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BRUIN
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Joined: 10 Apr 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 4:16 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Suggestion to Aqu: if you can get the victim to provide you with the original "online swiss lottery" letter, you can frequently google it and come up with an exact match.

www.urgentmessage.org

and

www.419baiter.com

and this board all have extensive archives of "old" scam letters. There is an excellent chance that you can find the exact match for the victim's e-mail.

Bruin

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gargstang
Master Baiter


Joined: 01 Jun 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 4:17 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

@ Julian Day - I would think that looking out for the best interest of the customer would be paramount in following policies or regulations. Of course these are more than likely different in the UK as opposed to the US.

@Aqu - Expect resistance from the customer as they are inclined to be very defensive when their judgment is questioned in this area.
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Doctor X
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 4:17 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

. . . and for the 1% who would prefer to lose their money, I have a 100% risky free investment for them.

Do what the above technical recommendations are--what your institution and laws require. Do it NOW to protect your customer and yourself. IF, for some reason, it comes down to you to talk with the potential victim, if you make it clear that this scam works, because it is "reasonable" and many people who--like the victim--are good at heart, fall for such things. In other words: it is not because the victim is "stupid" or "gullible."

However it works out, please post the results. Also, even IF the potential victim feel embarrassed, I can guarantee--with 137% risky free!--that in two weeks the potential victim will be happy he is not an actual victim AND will be happy he has his money to do something else with.

. . . such as take part in this wonderful opportunity I have . . .

--J.D.

[Edited due to the "do" having been done in a manner this is simply not done.--Ed.]

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mrsbean
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Joined: 06 Oct 2004
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 6:13 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

It would probably soften the blow a tad if you (or whoever from the bank) tell him that you decided to "research" the lottery in question since he included the copy of the letter and "discovered" that it was almost certainly a scam. That's a bit more ego-friendly than "I spotted this as a screaming lad scam immediately."

Make sure he understands there's no such animal as an online or email lottery, period, as he'll probably get hammered by tons of these. Pointing out UK and European laws prohibiting advance fees for sweepstakes and lotteries would be a good idea. And lotteries are like races (not, I hasten to add, like making love to a beautiful woman, as Tommo Shanter would say...). You can't win if you don't actively enter.

(Okay, so maybe if you squint and look at it sideways, lotteries are like making love to a beautiful woman...)

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TheGreatOok
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Joined: 25 May 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 6:17 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

mrsbean wrote:
(not, I hasten to add, like making love to a beautiful woman, as Tommo Shanter would say...). You can't win if you don't actively enter.


Well with a beautiful woman, you can't win if you don't enter........

But on topic What MrsBean said break it to him softly. Say you did research and this looks like a scam with supporting evidence here and here. I think everybody here has given good advice, follow their lead.

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GomerPyle
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Joined: 04 Jan 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 6:45 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Hi Aqu and welcome to the Wonderful World of Baiting.

People in banks NEVER sift through accounts, and I'm sure you don't either Aqu Wink

The advice is sound, but don't jump to conclusions. The circumstances you describe sound a little strange - a newly arrived visitor from the USA wins a lottery and wants to open a 'basic' account. If he'd won it before he left I imagine he'd have stayed home rather than enjoy our rain.

Offering an e-mail as identification when he must have a passport, a job, a home, bills. If I believed I'd won the Lottery I'd open a multi storey bar and be handing out champagne.

Certainly a Compliance Officer with a bit of common sense could do what's necessary, just by pointing out that the e-mail is a dud and therefore inadequate as identification. Then he just has to add 1 +1.

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Julian Day
Master Baiter


Joined: 19 Apr 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 6:48 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

gargstang wrote:
@ Julian Day - I would think that looking out for the best interest of the customer would be paramount in following policies or regulations.


I agree, and you are entirely correct...on re-reading my post, I see that (as usual Embarassed ) I might not have made myself clear. I appreciate your direct experience, as against my own peripheral knowledge. Smile

I was, however, also concerned that Aqu might prejudice his own position by well-meaning independent action which went against his employers rules or policy.

Bearcat03 also makes a very good point about confidentiality of clients information, which is another important consideration in professional environments before involving outside parties.

Your own point about expecting resistance from the customer is very valid too...apart from initial disappointment , he is sure to think that his judgement is being questioned, then no doubt also start to feel angry and foolish. Entirely understandable.
I have found this same pattern when clients have come to me with ambitious plans, in which I, as a professional person, have been obliged to point out flaws or problems....you have to be very careful to explain in a way that doesn't imply criticism of them! Very Happy

EDIT - And GomerPyle's email above adds a whole new possible perspective... Very Happy
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fengibbon
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Joined: 07 Feb 2005
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 9:43 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Quote:
while I was sifting through someones account


as you do. I hope your bank doesn't have a black horse as it's logo as i'd be pretty pissed that someone was just casually sifting through my account! - especially with that $42m from the Cayman Islands due tomorrow to be offshored back to Barbados via Bern!

Seriously - I know its a scam, you know its a scam, however you could compromise your position by telling the customer he's an idiot!!!!

Would suggest that under the FSA, you report the transaction (or potential transaction) to your Money Laundering Sounding Board Officer (or similar.) S/He will be able to deal with it in a professional manner which will not compromise you or the customer.

I work for a major UK insurer and a mate is a MLO - so if you need any more advice, PM me.

Fen

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mrsbean
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2007 9:03 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

GomerPyle wrote:
The circumstances you describe sound a little strange - a newly arrived visitor from the USA wins a lottery and wants to open a 'basic' account. If he'd won it before he left I imagine he'd have stayed home rather than enjoy our rain.


If he was a US resident when he "won", he couldn't legally play, much less win, a foreign lottery of any kind without, technically, breaking federal law. For better or worse (admittedly, miles better for those of us answering the "is this foreign lottery win a scam?" question from curious Americans) federal law prohibits playing foreign lotteries by phone or mail.

If you want to get down to the fine brass tacks, using "online lottery agents" to buy tickets and claim wins on your behalf is something of an apparent legal loophole, but who would trust a complete stranger to tell you the truth about whether you won or not when they know you can't legally claim the win yourself or easily sue them in international courts?

Even then, the "no ticket, no win" rule still applies.

Maybe the would-be millionaire enjoys puppies and long walks in the rain and wants to get the most drizzle for his buck? He's moved to the UK to open a kennel.

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bearkat419
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Joined: 25 Jun 2007
Posts: 3536
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2007 3:10 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Random thought - could it by any chance be a scammer, who has been well and royally baited beyond all belief?

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Aqu
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Joined: 21 Aug 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2007 10:03 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Update:

Well after coming back from taking a nice break from work I thought I would pass on the progress.

I took your advice:

Passed it on to Fraud, who instantly agreed and passed it back. So I decided I might as well handle it. Rang the customer - nice fella - gave him some information on advance fee fraud.

He didnt seem angry at all, in fact just embarressed that he had been foolish enough to believe it. He thanked me repeatedly for saving him the hassle and possible loss of money that would have arisen as a result of this, which made me smile Smile

So there we go, in fairness the only reason I caught it is because I've been lurking here reading your baits. So thats another victim saved by 419eater.

Keep up the great work guys, maybe I'll start baiting myself in the future Laughing



oh and at the guy that said they hoped I wasnt randomly sifting through accounts; no I dont. Poor choice of wording on my behalf, I did actually have a legitimate reason for being in his file Embarassed
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Frogsruleok
Master Baiter


Joined: 18 Aug 2007
Posts: 129
Location: Somerset, England


PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2007 10:14 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Excellent work! We could use people like you over at P1llage and M0ck, Inc.
Very Happy
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harrya
Elite Baiter


Joined: 23 Jul 2006
Posts: 1489
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2007 11:24 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Fantastic. Results like that are what this is all about. Thats one less victim and one more person that will spread the word Smile

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JMRazor
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2007 12:38 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Well done Aqu! That's what it's all about. Thumbs up

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Old Coaster
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2007 1:39 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I was going to post a response here, but I see the matter has been settled, so I shall confine my remarks to a suggested procedure for this type of situation.
Quote:
Firstly the relationship between a bank and it's customer is governed by a basic rule of confidentiality. That is to say the customer's dealings should remain totally confidential and many countries have strict laws covering this point. Any Bank Employee should bear this in mind whenever discussing a matter like this on a public (or for that matter,a private) internet forum and must keep any comments to generalities, so they cannot be accused of breaking the banks internal rules. Aqu's post is a model in this regard.

Having established the probability that a fraud is being perpetrated against the customer, the bank employee should discuss the matter either with his supervisor or, if more appropriate, with the bank's compliance officer. This discussion should be documented for everyone's protection.

This discussion should result in an agreed plan of action which will probably involve the bank employee or his superior contacting the customer. At this point it is reasonable to search for evidence on the internet to back up the claim that the customer is being conned; however, great care is needed to ensure that the rules governing customer confidentiality are not breached (the support of the Compliance Officer is essential here).

Finally when dealing with the customer, consider that there may be considerable resistance to the idea that they have been taken for a ride and, no matter how stupid they appear to have been, try to put yourself in their shoes and not judge them too harshly. It may be wise to record the conversation officially to avoid any later recriminations should the customer seek revenge for being made to look a fool (they may try to shoot the messenger).

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