Fraud busters foil criminal activity - Friendship style!

Wanda English Burnett

Two crimes were nipped in the bud due to the alert thinking and actions of The Friendship State Bank employees, according to Chris Meyer, director of marketing.

The bank has a new Fraud Buster program in place, which Meyer says along with the quick thinking of Nick Rauch at the Batesville branch and Rinda Reed at the Versailles branch, stopped fraudulent transactions from being made.

“Nick was skeptical about a recent transaction,” noted Batesville head teller Lauren Wagner. Due to a message on the account regarding a suspicious check, Rauch politely questioned the individual, which resulted in the would-be fraudster fleeing the bank.

“It turns out Nick’s suspicions were confirmed and the check was not legitimate, and Nick promptly received his “Fraud Buster” award,” noted Meyer.

“I credit our training program,” said Rauch. “I have been with Friendship for less than three months, yet I was given the tools to detect that something was wrong with this transaction.”

Rinda Reed, who is employed with the Versailles branch, was also able to stop a man who came in to open an account. In the process, she found the check he gave her to deposit for the initial opening of the account, was fraudulent.

“We are able to verify funds on large checks, especially when opening new accounts,” noted Meyer. He said there have also been countless cases where people believed they won a lottery, or were passed a fraudulent check through a similar scheme and the bank has been able to detect and stop this activity.

“We are able to verify funds on presented checks, which eliminates much of the risk to the consumer and our bank,” Meyer concluded.

The Fraud Buster program was put into place to protect The Friendship State Bank customers, prevent loss to the bank, and to recognize tellers when they successfully stop fraud. “The risk of fraudulent activities has increased dramatically during the financial crisis, as some people have become more desperate,” noted branch administrator Beth Schmaltz. “The only responsible action was to be sure our staff was well trained and knew how to spot potential fraud.”

While the front line tellers remain friendly, they use their skills to keep an eye on each and every transaction at the bank, with the goal of protecting local customers.

Pictured is Nick Rauch of The Friendship State Bank, Batesville branch, holding his Fraud Buster award, after thwarting a "would-be" fraudulent transaction. Also given an award, but not pictured, is Rinda Reed, teller at the Versailles branch.