APPLETON — An elderly customer of an Appleton credit union avoided being scammed out of a large amount of money recently thanks to the quick actions of an astute employee.
The employee was commended by the Appleton Police Department on social media as part of its Saturday shout out.
Police say they were told the customer had arrived at the credit union with instructions printed off from a home computer detailing how to transfer a very large sum of money to a suspicious bank account.
After speaking further with the credit union representative, as well as the customer, it became clear the customer was being scammed and was being targeted by a scammer falsely identifying themselves and attempting to take advantage of the situation.
Police say the scammer had somehow already obtained some banking information and had moved money around in the victims accounts as part of this malicious endeavor.
The credit union had already assisted in returning the victim’s money to its original accounts, closing any compromised accounts and creating new ones, as well as freezing access to the online banking accounts until a new password could be set.
The officer also talked to the victim about common online scams and fraudulent activity, as well as follow-up with a family member to ensure any potential malware on the home computer could be addressed appropriately.
After learning about the potential underlying concerns regarding the elderly victims memory, other applicable safeguards were discussed to prevent similar concerns from occurring in the future.
The Appleton Police Department regularly relies on its relationship’s with community partners to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all area residents.
Often, police say there is crossover between services needed to facilitate the best possible outcomes in various situations.
Police also are reminding residents about its new initiative – Project Safe Response – in collaboration with the Fox Valley Memory Project and the Outagamie County Aging and Disability Resource Center, to better serve those in our community living with dementia, autism, or other cognitive impairments or neurodivergences. More information and application forms can be located online at appletonpd.org.