FBI Trains Local Banks to Spot Fraud

Local bankers are getting some training on how to spot fraud and how to make sure you don’t become a victim. The FBI says it’s a big problem in New Mexico and the scammers just keep getting smarter. Just recently, a group was caught trying to launder money through local banks. Independent Community Bankers Association of New Mexico President, Jerry Walker said, “When the bad guys found out that the local FBI office was on to them, they fled and went back to Russia.” Schemes like this are why it’s so important to keep up on the latest trends. Walker said, “We find that Albuquerque and New Mexico is actually a hub for international criminals to try to attack our banks, our financial institutions our businesses.” Mark Medley knows all too well the nightmare of being a victim of fraud and identity theft. Medley said, “The person who stole my identity used it, and was booked into jail, so I became part of his criminal record.” Medley has decided to use what happened to him to help others. “Half of getting your identity cleared up is trying to figure out who to talk to, where to go and how to do it,” Medley said. Rodney Miller with the FBI says education is key, making sure people have the knowledge to protect themselves. Miller said, “Having the most up-to-date security software installed on there computer system, and most importantly know who they are talking to online.” According to the Federal Trade Commission, New Mexico is ranked 7th in the country for identity theft and fraud. Just last year, nearly 2,000 cases were reported.

By: Crystal Kobza, KOB Eyewitness News 4

ID Theft Consultant

Tips for choosing an ID theft consultant:

  1. Check to make sure the person has credible references.
  2. Ask about what resources they use in helping solve problems regarding identity theft and if they are relevant to your situation.
  3. Ask if the person follows the guidelines outlined by the attorney general’s office and the Federal Trade Commission.
  4. Ask if they have had first-hand experience with identity theft and what the outcome was.
  5. Make sure that there is a clear understanding of what the fees are, what they include, and make sure you get it in writing.
  6. Ask about their success ratio and if you can see written testimony from past clients.

If You Are a Victim of Identity Theft

Step One: File a report with your local police department. If the identity theft did not take place within your area, file a report with the police from the area where the theft took place. Make sure you get a copy of the police report.

Step Two: Close  accounts. If you notice any accounts under your name that have been tampered with or opened without your consent, close them immediately. The longer an identity thief has access to these accounts, the more money you could lose. Call each bank or company and then follow up in writing.

Step Three: Call the three credit reporting bureaus and place a fraud alert or security freeze on your credit file.

Step Four: Review your credit report for:

  1. Accounts you did not open;
  2. Debits on your account you did not know about;
  3. Inquiries from companies you don’t know;
  4. Inaccurate information.

Step Five: File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.