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Inside TRC

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Thursday, 21 Apr 2016

ERISA safeguards plan participants by imposing trust law standards of care and undivided loyalty on plan fiduciaries, and by holding fiduciaries accountable when they breach those obligations.

However, this final rule will extend those standards to cover an adviser who can be an individual or entity who is, among other things, a bank.

The final regulation now includes banks when defining who is a “fiduciary” of an employee benefit plan under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) as a result of giving investment advice to a plan or its participants or beneficiaries.

Fiduciaries to plans and Individual Retirement Account(s) are not permitted to engage in “prohibited transactions,” which pose special dangers to the security of retirement, health, and other benefit plans because of fiduciaries’ conflicts of interest with respect to the transactions.

Keeping your financial institution up to date on regulatory issues and your employees educated can be a daunting task. TRC can help. To learn more and the details of ERISA, contact us at info@trcinteractive.com or (800) 222-9909.

Thursday, 7 Apr 2016

There’s a new twist on tech-support scams — you know, the one where crooks try to get access to your computer or sensitive information by offering to “fix” a computer problem that doesn’t actually exist.

Lately, we’ve heard reports that people are getting calls from someone claiming to be from the Global Privacy Enforcement Network. Their claim? That your email account has been hacked and is sending fraudulent messages. They say they’ll have to take legal action against you, unless you let them fix the problem right away. This is the latest scam alert for the Federal Trade Commission, Division of Consumer Business Education and they are all too familiar.

It seems every week the scammers come up with a new way to steal your money or your information. How can we stop it? By being informed and by letting your customers know the latest tricks.

TRC Interactive’s First Line of Defense™ including Just In™ and Branch Activities can help you make a scammer’s life a little tougher! First Line of Defense™ offers interactive and engaging fraud training to help financial institutions identify and prevent fraud attempts. To learn more, visit http://trcinteractive.com/training-solutions/fraud-training.asp or contact us at either info@trcinteractive.com or (800) 222-9909.

Wednesday, 23 Mar 2016

The Federal Trade Commission has approved final amendments to its Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR), including a change that will help protect consumers from fraud by prohibiting four discrete types of payment methods favored by con artists and scammers.

The TSR changes will stop telemarketers from dipping directly into consumer bank accounts by using certain kinds of checks and “payment orders” that have been “remotely created” by the telemarketer or seller. These two payment mechanisms make it easy for unscrupulous telemarketers to debit accounts without consumers’ permission, and can make it difficult to reverse the transactions with consumers’ financial institutions.

In addition, the amendments will bar telemarketers from receiving payments through traditional “cash-to-cash” money transfers – provided by companies like MoneyGram, Western Union, and RIA. The TSR changes also will prohibit telemarketers from accepting as payment “cash reload” mechanisms – such as MoneyPak, Vanilla Reload, or Reloadit packs used to add funds to existing prepaid cards.

The final rule also will:

  • Expand the advance-fee ban on recovery services to include losses both in prior telemarketing and non-telemarketing transactions; and

  • Require that a description of the goods or services purchased must be included in the tape recording of a consumer’s express verifiable authorization to be charged.



In addition, the TSR amendments update several provisions related to the National Do Not Call (DNC) Registry to, among other things:

  • Expressly state that a seller or telemarketer has to demonstrate that it has an existing business relationship with, or has received an express written agreement from, a consumer it calls if the consumer’s number is on the DNC Registry;

  • Illustrate the types of burdens that deny or interfere with a consumer’s right to be placed on a seller’s or telemarketer’s entity-specific do-not-call list;

  • Specify that if a seller or telemarketer does not get the information needed to place a consumer’s number on its entity-specific do-not-call list, the seller or telemarketer is disqualified from the safe harbor for isolated or accidental violations; and

  • Emphasize that sellers are prohibited from sharing the cost of the fees to access the DNC Registry.



This year TRC Interactive is introducing a new course that will provide an overview to the payments landscape to help your staff better understand the various payment methods and systems. Keeping your financial institution up to date on regulatory issues and your employees educated can be a daunting task. TRC can help. To learn more, contact us at info@trcinteractive.com or (800) 222-9909.

Wednesday, 9 Mar 2016

The federal banking regulatory agencies issued an advisory to clarify expectations for the use of property evaluations by banking institutions.

The advisory describes the agencies’ existing supervisory expectations for the use of an evaluation instead of an appraisal to estimate a property’s market value for certain real estate-related financial transactions. Unlike an appraisal, an evaluation does not have to be developed by a state-licensed or state-certified appraiser.

The advisory also addresses the use of alternative valuation approaches, methods, and other information that financial institutions may use to develop an evaluation in areas with few, if any, recent comparable property sales in reasonable proximity to the subject property.

Regardless of the approach or method used to estimate the market value of real property, an evaluation report should contain sufficient information and analysis to support the value conclusion and the institution’s decision to engage in the transaction.

Other regulations may require obtaining an appraisal for certain transactions with transaction values under the threshold. For example, an appraisal may be required under Regulation Z for any transaction that is considered a higher-priced mortgage loan under that regulation due to its interest rate. This information is reviewed under our course entitled Truth in Lending Act Certain Home Mortgage Transactions.

In addition, we are preparing to release a new course entitled Appraisal Laws and Guidance which will be available by Summer 2016.

To stay up to date on regulatory trends and news, frequently visit our blog. TRC Interactive also offers online, interactive training on various compliance related topics. To learn more, visit http://trcinteractive.com/training-solutions/fraud-training.asp or contact us at either info@trcinteractive.com or (800) 222-9909.

Thursday, 21 Jan 2016

Keep your employees informed about the most prevalent scams. Experts estimate that IRS impostors have made an estimated 900,000 calls intended to steal money and information.

The IRS continues to warn consumers to guard against scam phone calls from thieves intent on stealing their money or their identity. Criminals pose as the IRS to trick victims out of their money or personal information. Here are several tips to help you avoid being a victim of these scams:

  • Scammers make unsolicited calls. Thieves call taxpayers claiming to be IRS officials. They demand that the victim pay a bogus tax bill. They con the victim into sending cash, usually through a prepaid debit card or wire transfer. They may also leave “urgent” callback requests through phone “robo-calls,” or via phishing email.
  • Callers try to scare their victims. Many phone scams use threats to intimidate and bully a victim into paying. They may even threaten to arrest, deport or revoke the license of their victim if they don’t get the money.
  • Scams use caller ID spoofing. Scammers often alter caller ID to make it look like the IRS or another agency is calling. The callers use IRS titles and fake badge numbers to appear legitimate. They may use the victim’s name, address and other personal information to make the call sound official.
  • Cons try new tricks all the time. Some schemes provide an actual IRS address where they tell the victim to mail a receipt for the payment they make. Others use emails that contain a fake IRS document with a phone number or an email address for a reply. These scams often use official IRS letterhead in emails or regular mail that they send to their victims. They try these ploys to make the ruse look official.
  • Scams cost victims over $23 million. The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, or TIGTA, has received reports of about 736,000 scam contacts since October 2013. Nearly 4,550 victims have collectively paid over $23 million as a result of the scam.


The IRS will not:

  • Call you to demand immediate payment. The IRS will not call you if you owe taxes without first sending you a bill in the mail.
  • Demand that you pay taxes and not allow you to question or appeal the amount you owe.
  • Require that you pay your taxes a certain way; for instance, require that you pay with a prepaid debit card.
  • Ask for your credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
  • Threaten to bring in police or other agencies to arrest you for not paying.


TRC Interactive’s First Line of Defense™ training solution offers interactive and engaging fraud training to help financial institutions identify and prevent fraud attempts. To learn more, visit http://trcinteractive.com/training-solutions/fraud-training.asp or contact us at either info@trcinteractive.com or (800) 222-9909.

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