Banks offer a secure place to store one’s money with relatively little danger of loss. But, banks also provide a variety of other invaluable services that support their customers’ needs. To better understand how banking can work for you, just ask Alex, our banking expert. He has answers to such pertinent questions as to the value of online banking, how bank statements work, and ways to prevent fraud, scams, and identity theft.
Question: What is the grandparents scam? – Stanley from Stockton, California.
Answer: One version of the impostor scam that effects senior citizens is the grandparents scam. The grandparents scam is when an impostor pretends to be the victim’s grandchild and asks for money quickly because of an emergency. The fake emergency can include paying for medical bills because they were just in an accident or legal costs (i.e. bail or for a lawyer) because they just got arrested. The fraudster asks the grandparent to send money immediately via MoneyGram, Western Union or a wire. The criminal also tells the grandparent not to contact their “parents” because they do not want to get in trouble. If this happens to you, stay calm, ask personal questions to verify the family member’s identity, and contact another family member to corroborate the story.
Question: What is the benefits of online banking? – Gina from Wichita, Kansas.
Answer: With a computer or mobile device, online banking allows customers to pay bills, transfer money, view transactions, place stop payments, open new accounts, order checks and much more. The obvious benefit is convenience. Online users are able to access their bank accounts anytime and anywhere. However, the hidden benefit of online banking is security. Fraudulent transactions can be spotted much sooner with customers who use online banking as compared to those who rely on paper statements. The earlier a problem is caught, the faster it can be reported and resolved.
Question: I didn’t get a statement for my savings account this month. Why is that? – Andrea from Branson Missouri.
Answer: Financial institutions are required by law to send a monthly statements if the account has had at least one electronic fund transfer for that month. These include recurring payments automatically debited from the account, ATM/debit card transactions, direct deposits and online bill payments. If an electronic funds transfer has not been made, many financial institutions will send a quarterly statement instead.
Important: For your specific questions about banking, contact your banking expert, Alex, at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Alex is starting his 15th year in the banking industry. He has worked for such notable banks as Bank of America, US Bank, and Chase. Alex has his bachelor’s degree in Business Economic from the University of California Riverside.