Thursday, December 7, 2023

Free FBI training coming up; more info on unemployment scams

This alert has two distinct and separate topics. Please read both and understand the first is an invitation for training on Thursday, and requires you sign up beforehand.

Typically, you have to be an Infragard member to attend these meetings, but FBI has extended an offer to our bankers to attend this one without being a member. If afterward you choose to join the group (at no charge), Elaine Dodd is the financial sector chief and can help. In the meantime, please consider signing up now and joining on Thursday.

Free Virtual FBI Program on Bank Fraud and PPA (CARES)

InfraGard Oklahoma Member’s Alliance holds member meetings on the first Wednesday of each month at 11:30 a.m. Due to the pandemic, our meetings will be held virtually until further notice.

Please click here to register to attend the virtual meeting!

On Thursday, it will have a special presentation: Bank Fraud and the Paycheck Protection Act (CARES) and Campaign Finance and Election Crimes. This event will take place at 2 p.m., Thursday, June 18, via Zoom, and will include special guests Casey Cox and David Cole with the FBI’s Oklahoma City office. Click here to register (pre-registration is required)!

Join us to hear how our local FBI Special Agents are investigating bank fraud and the Paycheck Protection Act, as well as what is being done to investigate campaign fraud and election crimes during the upcoming election season.

Additional Guidance on Unemployment Funds Returns

The ABA’s Heather Wyson, along with the ABA State Association Alliance, recently shared some helpful information on the following:

• Best practices for returning suspicious transfers.

• ACH Batch Header info.

Return Codes. NACHA has advised banks that proactively identified and returned these payments did so using return codes R03; R17; and R23. NACHA stated it was comfortable with the use of these codes for the returns.

The representative also recommended institutions refer to their regional ACH Payment Associations for additional assistance with identifying state unemployment payments.

Best practices for returning suspicious transfers associated with UI fraud – as provided by the Secret Service. (Note they are in preference order.)

1. FI revert ACH as suspicious to issuing bank if they have the capability and funds are in the account.

2. FI work with their local USSS field office to get account holder to voluntarily release funds, or USSS administratively seize from FI (typically, FI converts funds into cashier’s check). If any of the funds have been withdrawn and the ACH cannot be reversed, the Secret Service requests the remaining funds be preserved. Your financial institution should contact their local Secret Service field office to assist in the recovery of funds.

3. For FIs that cannot revert the ACH, or want a seizure warrant, USSS field office will work with a prosecutor to obtain a seizure warrant for funds related to Unemployment Fraud. This option is a last resort but you should know it can be used.

For FIs seeking USSS assistance in returning suspicious transfers, they should provide their local USSS field offices the following for each account:

1. Account Identifiers (Account #, Name, Address, etc.).

2. Date and amount received state UI funds (broken down by states).

3. Date and amount if any withdrawals.

4. Amount left in account for seizure

Oklahoma Reminder. Our Oklahoma contact at the USSS is Wesley Gillespie, who can be reached at (405) 228-1957 or wesley.gillespie@usss.dhs.gov.

ACH Batch Header Info and Red Flags — The OBA is maintaining a list of known keywords and originator IDs to search. It can be obtained by emailing elaine@oba.com with subject line “Keyword.”