Fraud Prevention – Part 3
In this third post of three, I talk again about financial fraud, something it seems that has become more prevalent with each passing year. Last week I discussed some basic do’s and don’ts with respect to emails.
But if my mom walks into her bank and wants to withdraws a large amount of money or says she needs to wire funds – even if it is overseas – should the bank honor that request? Can it refuse to allow her access to her own money? We typically have this conversation with family members after the fraud has occurred.
It’s always easier to say what should have been done after the fact. Not so in real time. If my mother presents no signs that she lacks capacity what reason does the bank have for denying her request? Can they question the reason for the withdrawals from her account? In each instance or just for some withdrawals? How should that be determined? By age? By the reason given for the withdrawal? And if the bank denies the request what happens then? There are privacy rules and discrimination laws to consider and there could be many angry bank customers they were refused access to their own money.
So, what can be done proactively? Restrictions can maybe be placed on Mom’s accounts but not without her permission and cooperation. Joint authorizations for withdrawals over a certain amount may help. Wire transfers, especially to overseas, might also require more scrutiny but, again, it probably can’t be done without the account holder’s agreement.