Watch Your Account: International Bank Fraud Claims Millions - WBAY

Target 2 Consumer Alert

Watch Your Account: International Bank Fraud Claims Millions

Updated:

Our Target 2 Consumer Alert highlights the story of a man behind bars for a multi-million dollar fraud in hopes of preventing more people from losing money.

Robert Saks was convicted of orchestrating an international bank fraud scheme that stole $34 million.

At the heart of the scheme: a "lead list" that included bank customer names and account information.

"They were using the list to charge and withdraw amounts from the consumer's bank account without their knowledge," said Daniel Forrester, U.S. Postal Inspector.

Postal inspectors determined Saks and 15 others withdrew funds from over 100,000 accounts - mostly small amounts to avoid suspicion.

"The maximum amount we found was $299. But, there were smaller amounts, some less than $100--$59 and a person may not have challenged them," said Forrester.

Unlocking the case required an extensive accounting review.

"We examined hundreds of bank account records and we were able to piece together the elaborate conspiracy that it was."

As inspectors prepared for trial, they created a chart laying out the case.

"The lay of the land main principle, the people they worked under, how many accounts were involved and the flow of money," said Forrester.

Inspectors urge you to always check your bank account.  In this case many consumers got money back.

"Consumers could challenge the charge and if they can't verify it, they will reverse it.  Consumer law says you have 60 days to challenge a claim."

Robert Saks is currently serving a 17-year prison sentence.

The other 15 co-conspirators pleaded guilty for their participation in the crime.

Again, the lesson from this is to closely watch your bank account. With internet banking, you don't have to wait for a statement.

Click here for more information on fraud and tips to avoid falling victim to a scam.

 

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