NBSB Helps Local Seniors with Identity Theft & Fraud Prevention Seminar

North Brookfield Savings Bank representatives visited local seniors to share their custom designed Identity Theft and Fraud Prevention presentation. Shown at the Quaboag Rehabilitation and Skilled Care Center in West Brookfield are (left to right) NBSB Senior Vice President of Retail Banking Patty Ostrout, Evelyn Gregson, Audrey Parsons, Susan Dumas , Suzanne Sproesser, Eva Perron, Nancy Arsenault and NBSB West Brookfield Branch Manager Kim Brown.

Informing, educating and protecting their local customers from fraud is something that North Brookfield Savings Bank not only takes very seriously, but also takes pride in. It is not unfamiliar to see the Bank’s Managers and Officers out in the community sharing their in-depth knowledge on the subject with their local neighbors.

In fact, in an effort to advise and safeguard the seniors of local communities, recently North Brookfield Savings Bank’s highly-trained representatives visited multiple local senior centers to give free presentations on the topic of identity theft, scams and fraud prevention. The presentation was custom designed to help seniors become more vigilant to some of the common tactics and scams fraudsters are known to attempt. In addition, North Brookfield Savings Bank representatives discussed the steps seniors can take to protect themselves against fraud and how to report fraud if they suspect it.

“It is an unfortunate truth that seniors are more vulnerable and likely to be a target of a scam or fraud,” said Kim Brown, West Brookfield Branch Manager. “The scammers specifically target this age group because they tend to be more isolated, have savings in their accounts, may lack the knowledge of technology and tend to be more trusting. I am so happy to meet them face-to-face, in a comfortable, familiar environment and help them to avoid becoming victims.”

For example, “The Grandparent Scam”, a scam targeting older residents, is a form of financial abuse that uses impersonation tactics. Scammers may call claiming to be a grandchild in serious trouble and in dire need of money immediately. The impersonator might say he’s stranded or has been mugged, or needs helps getting out of jail or out of a foreign country. Often times, the caller will cry to disguise their voice while begging and pleading for the money to be wired – quickly! The fraudster could call in the middle of the night to add to the urgency and confusion. The goal of the scam is to trick the victims into wiring money to help their helpless grandchild. Only later the victim finds out that it wasn’t actually their grandchild they were helping, it was a criminal.

“At North Brookfield Savings Bank, we feel it is our responsibility as a local financial institution to be sure the elders of our communities are well-informed,” said Patty Ostrout, Senior Vice President of Retail Banking. “The presentations are a great way to meet in-person with this wonderful group of our community, to share our experience, and give them a friendly face to turn to should they fall victim.”

Most recently, North Brookfield Savings Bank visited the Belchertown Senior Center and Quaboag Rehabilitation and Skilled Care Center in West Brookfield to bring their presentation directly to the seniors in the Belchertown, West Brookfield and East Brookfield communities, respectively.

North Brookfield Savings Bank’s presentations and discussions were led by the highly-trained and friendly employees. Warren Izyk, Belchertown Branch Manager/Assistant Consumer Loan Manager and Cindy Fountain, AVP, Regional Branch Manager/Consumer Loan Manager presented in Belchertown with Kim Brown, West Brookfield Branch Manager and Patty Ostrout, Senior VP of Retail Banking presenting in West Brookfield. In alignment with the Bank’s core value of “commitment to excellence”, all of the Bank’s front line staff undergo ongoing and consistent training focusing heavily on recognizing and handling fraudulent activity and situations.

“We are proud to be able to offer these presentations and help our customers on a daily basis to avoid fraud.” Ostrout continued, “One of our biggest pieces of advice is if you do accidentally share any personal information or if someone has that information already, to contact someone immediately. Don’t be embarrassed!”