The perpetrators of this type of offense specifically target senior citizens. It is designed to take several thousand dollars (normally various amounts up to $9,000) in one or multiple transactions. The seniors are selected in many ways including criss-cross telephone books, random telephone surveys, previous obituary notices or observation at banks and shopping centers.
Following is a general description of the basic elements of the offense. Different suspects use many variations to convince the senior they are dealing with legitimate law enforcement or bank personnel.
The senior receives a telephone call by a subject posing as a law enforcement officer, bank security, or other official. They are told that there is a "problem" at their bank. The caller may claim that other accounts are involved, and others have agreed to assist. The victim is often informed that a person at their bank is dishonest and is stealing from accounts.
The caller elicits the assistance of the senior and requests they withdraw money from their bank and not talk to anyone about the withdrawal. Throughout the offense the suspect reassures the senior that their account will be replenished and they will not loose any money. He may tell the senior not to take a check, and to tell the bank teller/manager that the money is being used for a relative or other cash transaction.
The caller tells the senior they will be met by an officer after the withdrawal is made, either at a pre-determined location or their home. The victim is instructed to give the currency they withdrew to the officer who will take the currency for evidence.
In multiple transactions which may continue for several days or weeks, the senior may receive further calls informing them of the progress of the "investigation" and convince the senior to make further withdrawals to reinforce the case against the dishonest employee. Normally the same pattern is followed by the suspect when taking the seniors money.