Fraud Fighters Presentation at Cresco Bank and Trust

CRESCO - Cresco Bank and Trust recently held a Fraud Fighters Presentation on Tuesday, March, 12. Topics ranged anywhere from consumer scams, medicare scams, and how to speak or interact with scam artists. Mike Johnson of Johnson Computers, Chief  Tim Ruroden of the Cresco Police Department, Investigator Rick Hollenbeck with the Howard County Sheriff’s Department, and Dallas Steffen, Retail Manager at Cresco Bank and Trust, made up the expert panel in front of the room, often giving input and advice on how to handle fraudsters, including how to prevent becoming a victim. 
The most common scams are Ponzi or pyramid schemes. They often promise high  and “too good to be true” returns, which often fall through. Free dinner seminars are also seen, where scammers use guilt to convince people to buy their investment products. Fear, guilt, and high pressure tactics are how these criminals get their income out of “Iowa nice” communities. 
A story shared at the beginning of the presentation was about an Iowan who was scammed out of over one million dollars after a single conversation. The scammer had sent a fake social security letter to her through the mail, and when she replied to the letter, they showed up at her door the next day. The scammer went inside, took all the comfort and refreshments a good host would offer, and a hour and a half later, walked out with most of the victim’s money. They twisted her investments, saying the money wasn’t safe, and would start to fail, that she needed to trust them, and act quickly. The money wasn’t just any hard earned cash either, it was the result of selling a dearly loved family farm. The victim was absolutely heartbroken and distraught when she found out the truth, the money long gone. 
Scammers are professionals, they know their craft, have tactics, and will do anything to ensure they see money in their pocket. In one day, that person made over one million dollars, in one conversation, they were able to gain trust, respect, and appeal to the emotions of their victim. It is scary to think the lengths these criminals will go to to secure access to your financial accounts.
Here are some helpful tips to stay safe and protect your private information:
•Don’t be afraid to say no and hang up. Fraudsters don’t deserve your courtesy or politeness. 
•Check out anyone you don’t recognize (investigate who they are, where they work, who they work for).
•Monitor and check your accounts.
•Never judge a person’s integrity by the sound of their voice, scammers are professionals, and will come across as so. 
•Watch out for salespeople who prey on fears and emotions. 

Cresco Times

Phone: 563-547-3601
Fax: 563-547-4602

Cresco TPD
214 N. Elm Street
Cresco, IA 52136

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