Although much of the focus on bank fraud has been on sophisticated hackers, it’s the more prosaic figure of the teller behind the window who should worry depositors, says The New York Times, citing prosecutors, government officials and security experts.
“Tellers and those who oversaw them once played a sober, respected role in towns small and large, carefully counting out bills and peering at signatures,” says the Times. “But ATMs, direct deposits and electronic banking have diminished tellers’ importance, to the point that their work is now low paid and, prosecutors say, occasionally criminal.”
Well, this article may be taking too nostalgic a look at tellers of the past.
I was a secretary at a bank long ago, when I was working my way through college. Tellers there were not infrequently discovered to be stealing. Being a teller was a low-paid, low-status job even then.
In fact, my coworkers and I began to say cynically that you could tell which tellers were stealing by how pleasant and helpful they were. Those who had nothing to hide tended to take out their dislike of their jobs on the customers and the rest of us.