ABA Banking Journal - January/February 2016 - (Page 36)

FEATURE > PROTECTING OLDER AMERICANS Safe Banking, Savvy Seniors Bankers are leading the way in protecting older Americans from fraud and financial abuse. BY KARI BARBIC n the time it takes to read to the bottom of this page, another older American will have become the victim of financial abuse. To thousands of bankers across the country, these victims aren't just statistics: they are customers. They are members of communities who bankers know by name. "These fraudsters aren't just robbing customers," says Corey Carlisle, the ABA Foundation's executive director. "They're robbing from the bank." Changing the game With new scams and fraud techniques cropping up all the time and one of the largest generations booming into retirement, banks are changing their game plan to protect their customers and their assets. While banks have long been on the lookout for fraud against their customers, many find that simply following procedures is no longer enough. Banks need to provide the right set of tools to their customers and employees to stay steps ahead of fraudsters. 36 ABA BANKING JOURNAL | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2016 For F. Scott Dueser, president and CEO of First Financial Bank in Abilene, Texas, this truth hit home with a call from a customer whose mother had been cheated of $40,000- her entire life savings. "When I looked back over the records, our bank employees had followed all the regulatory procedures, but that wasn't enough. We hadn't gone the extra mile," Dueser says. From that point, First Financial started developing a new program to train all 1,300 of its employees to spot fraud and to know what steps to take to stop it. "If we can stop fraud the moment a bad check comes across one of our teller's counters, we can save our customers and stop the fraudsters right in their tracks," says Dueser. And that's just what First Financial has been doing with its FraudBusters program. The bank's employees work closely with their local police departments, and they're seeing that when they work together, they can succeed. For First Financial, relationships are critical to fraudbusting: Tellers who know their customers can sense when something is off. Dueser tells the story of a teller who paused on a check signature when it didn't look quite right. The check bore the husband's signature, but the teller knew that his wife usually handled the finances. After confirming that the signature was in fact a fake, the teller called up the customer immediately and discovered that her checkbook had been stolen. The police were called in and the fraudster was arrested right there at the bank. This is but one of dozens of arrests

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ABA Banking Journal - January/February 2016

President's View
Picture This
Economic Outlook
Community Engagement
Cover Story: Train To Your Advantage
Filling The Trust Gap
Banking In The Sweet Spot
Safe Banking, Savvy Seniors
Human Resources
Agricultural Banking
Board Matters
ABA Compliance Center Inbox
Legal Briefs
From The States
Corporate Social Responsibility
Index of Advertisers

ABA Banking Journal - January/February 2016