Log in Subscribe

Jeff Bank leadership provides insight on scams

Alex Kielar
Posted 2/16/24

JEFFERSONVILLE – With fraud and scam concerns continuing to be brought into the limelight, Jeff Bank leadership gave some insight on the uptick in cases related to customers, especially the …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Jeff Bank leadership provides insight on scams


JEFFERSONVILLE – With fraud and scam concerns continuing to be brought into the limelight, Jeff Bank leadership gave some insight on the uptick in cases related to customers, especially the elderly, being scammed out of large amounts of money. 

“This is not just a Jeff Bank problem,” Rhonda Decker, Jeff Bank’s Senior Vice President and Security Officer, said. She noted that the plague of scams are widespread throughout the nation in a variety of different business sectors.

Decker said that people of all ages can be victims of these scams but what she and Leanne Stuhlmiller, Jeff Bank’s Bank Security Act (BSA) and Information Security Officer, have noticed is that it tends to focus on the elderly. 

Decker said that as bankers, they do annual security training and financial implication is always the topic. She said that they have ramped up in talking to their staff and telling them about all different types of scamming scenarios to get them prepared. She also said they have done community outreach and presentations at global senior citizens groups to try and educate the most vulnerable. 

While some of the scams can be recognized when the person is right in front of them, Decker said that sometimes they won’t know about it until the victim already sent the money in one way or another.

“That’s the unfortunate end of it,” Decker said. “That is kind of what we’ve been doing, really focusing on training our staff in how to detect stuff and how to have that very difficult conversation with their customer.” 

Stuhlmiller said that she would bet that 100 percent of the time in situations where you begin speaking with someone through any kind of electronic channel, and that person asks for money, it is a scam or fraud. She also referenced situations where someone receives a call from a wrong number and the conversation turns friendly before suddenly the person asks for money, it is more than likely a scam. 

“I’d recommend, specifically for elderly customers, to talk to their family about what’s going on,” Stuhlmiller said. “Because sometimes the outside person can see things from a different eye.”

“Microsoft scam”

Stuhlmiller also said that if there is a situation where you have received a supposed lottery winning and you have to pay any kind of fee, that is always a scam. Another example of fraud that Stuhlmiller referenced is what they call the Microsoft scam. 

“Someone might just be doing their thing on their computer and all of a sudden, this pop-up comes up saying that you’ve been hacked or you have malware on your computer,” Stuhlmiller said. “We had a customer fall for that about two weeks ago. [The scammer] told her that, in order to fix her computer and make sure that no one would ever see the stuff that was on there, she would have to pay, and she did. Microsoft would never come into your computer and tell you that.”

She said that Microsoft, Apple or any of the other computer technology software companies are never going to reach out to someone to get remote access. Stuhlmiller said that if this situation happens, the victim is to immediately turn off the computer and take it to a repair store. 

 If you call the company for assistance, she said that they may ask for remote access to help solve a problem. But that’s only if the customer is initiating the remote access. 

“Grandma scam”

Another scam that has become very prevalent is a more sophisticated version of the “grandma scam” where a family member will receive a call, which Stuhlmiller said is typically a grandparent, reporting that their grandchild is either arrested or in a serious emergency situation. The scammer will then tell the family member that they need to either pay for attorney fees or pay their bail.

“It has gotten more sophisticated where they are using deepfakes, where they actually sound like the grandchild,” Stuhlmiller said. “They maybe got their voice off social media or online somewhere.”

Skepticism saves

Recommendations that Stuhlmiller talked about if you are in this situation, is to ask questions that only your grandchild or other family member would know or to hang up and call that family member on a known phone number. 

Stuhlmiller also said that these types of scammers work very hard to tell the victim what to do, as they coach the victim, in a sense. She said that the scammer will tell the victim what to say and how to respond to certain questions from a bank. 

“They are instructed to go to a branch,” Stuhlmiller said. “As an example, say the customer normally uses our Jeffersonville branch, the scammer will coach them to utilize the Anawana Lake branch or even the White Lake Branch. Some place that they normally don’t go to because the staff there is not going to be familiar with the customer.”

There are also situations that the Jeff Bank leadership talked about where a victim will continue with the scam due to embarrassment. But their best advice is to not be embarrassed and talk to a family member or trusted individual about what is going on, to help eradicate the situation.


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here