Tuesday, June 23, 2015

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Several years ago we had a credit union member disputing a large ATM transaction that had been done at one of our own ATM locations. Since all ATM transactions are recorded on video we asked the member to come down to the office and review the video with us. The member was very concerned about the transaction and was prompt in wanting to view the video and assist with the investigation of the disputed transaction.

The time/date of the disputed late evening transaction was retrieved on the video recorder and the member eagerly watched the video with credit union management. We could see a person walk up to the drive-up ATM. The video at the ATM itself was good but only showed a male person with their hat pulled down and hand being used to block out their face. It was impossible to identify the person involved from the video. The person using the stolen ATM card of course did not want to be identified so their efforts were successful in keeping their face hidden. 

What the card thief did not realize however is that the credit union utilizes multiple outdoor video cameras to record vehicles and activity going on throughout the parking lot. Pulling up these other video sources both before and after the actual ATM transaction were very revealing in ending the mystery of the transaction. One other camera recorded a dump truck pulling into the parking lot while another camera recorded the person stepping down from the truck as they moved towards the ATM. These images were very clear and unobstructed. 

Upon viewing the dump truck and the person exiting the truck, the shocked member quickly realized who it was and said "Oh my God, that's my son!" 

The son had gone into the member's purse at home, taken out the Debit Card, driven down to the credit union's ATM, taken out the maximum daily cash allowed at an ATM, and then returned the Debit Card to the member's purse upon returning back home. The son knew the PIN from being around the mother on previous card transactions. To make matters worse, the member said she had been already helping out the son financially by making the payments on the son's dump truck loan. 

It was an unfortunate sad situation for the member. The member did not elect to file police charges on their son. Unfortunately, financial theft among family members is a fairly common occurrence. In this case, having good video surveillance was the difference in identifying who the criminal was and preventing a financial loss to the credit union. 

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