Consumer Alert: Beware of scammers targeting bank accounts

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Robert Saks is behind bars for orchestrating an international bank fraud scheme that stole $34 million dollars. At the heart of the scam, a lead list that included bank customer names and account information.

"They were using the list to charge and withdraw amounts from the consumers' bank account without their knowledge," says U.S. Postal Inspector Daniel Forrester.

Postal inspectors determined Saks and 15 others withdrew funds from over 100,000 accounts, mostly small amounts to avoid suspicion.

"The maximum amount we found was $299. But, there were smaller amounts, some less than $100 to $59 and a person may not have challenged them," says Forrester.

Unlocking the case required an extensive accounting review.

"We examined hundreds of bank account records and we were able to piece together the elaborate conspiracy that it was," says Forrester.

As inspectors prepared for trial, they created a chart laying out the case. In all, 17 people were charged.

Inspectors say always check your bank account. In this case, many consumers got money back.

"Consumers could challenge the charge and if they can't verify it, they will reverse it. Consumer law says you have 60 days to challenge a claim," says Forrester.

Saks is currently serving a 17-year prison sentence. The other 15 co-conspirators plead guilty for their participation in the conspiracy.

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