On Wednesday morning, Minnwest Bank of Montevideo hosted a seminar titled Identifying and Avoiding Scams, which provided information for area senior citizens on what types of scams exist, how scammers infiltrate bank accounts and more. Nicole Boelter, a Universal Banker at Minnwest Bank gave the presentation that included discussion from Kari Finberg, Fraud Analyst at Minnwest, Jonathan Schiller, Chief Security Officer at Minnwest, and representatives from local law enforcement Ken Schule, Chief of Police in Montevideo, and Derek Olson, Chippewa County Sheriff.
Boelter began the presentation by explaining what a scam is. “A scam is a trick that somebody, a con artist, plays on an unsuspecting person. The goal is to get money and the scam succeeds when the victim’s money is gone and then the scammer is gone too,” she said. “This is a scary stat to me. Almost 2.9 billion is lost annually to fraud against older Americans. That’s just to those who are considered senior citizens.” She also explained that people should not be embarrassed if they have encountered a scammer. “Scammers are masters of persuasion, they are the best actors you will run into. They will convince you of a story and find out what you’re vulnerable to. They quickly gain your trust and show you no mercy.”
Explaining how scammers gain access to people’s contact information, Boelter said, “Unfortunately due to technology today most of our information is out there on the world wide web….