How well do you know your bank teller?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are over 500,000 bank tellers across the United States.
Over 90% of the population has a bank account, which means tellers have access to over 250 million individuals with accounts.
Bank tellers have access to confidential data which include: Social security numbers, bank account numbers, addresses, etc.
Bank tellers don’t make much
Your average bank teller working full time makes $25-$35k a year.
They can easily make thousands of dollars per customer by releasing valuable customer information to identity thieves.
There are instances where tellers will issue debit cards, new checks, and credit cards to drain money from customer accounts as well.
When asked if people across the country should be worried, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance said, “I think we should all be worried. That doesn’t mean we should panic.”
Majority of the public has no idea about this type of identity theft and it’s becoming a growing problem.
What’s even scarier is that banks aren’t proactively getting involved with this problem.
According to D.A. Vance, “Not all banks aggressively fight and report this type of crime.”
Banks need to create a solution
Banks need to do more and make sure to put this into the limelight.
If this doesn’t get out to the masses, it’s just an invitation for these identity thieves to go from bank account to bank account.
Although being a bank teller maybe low level position in a bank, they should still be subjected to a rigorous background check.
Currently, not much is done to go into the backgrounds of these employees.
After Sept. 11th, banks were required to thoroughly vet their new customers and monitor their accounts for any suspicious activity.
That same level of scrutiny doesn’t apply to their own tellers.
Depending on the bank, little more than a basic criminal background check is performed
The American Bankers Association – the group that represents bankers across the U.S. recently put out a statement that banks are beginning to include sophisticated software to monitor employee access of customer accounts.
At least it won’t come out of your pocket
Good news regarding this type of fraud is that the bank will cover any loss to the customer.
Even with these safeguards being put into place, employees still find ways to get around them.
For example, if a teller is suspected in committing fraud with customer accounts and becomes heavily monitored, they’ll get fellow coworkers to search customer accounts for them instead.
This is an issue that needs to be addressed. Make sure to keep an eye on your bank accounts for suspicious behavior.
Go to your local branch and see if there are any protocols for how your bank keeps your identity safeguarded within.