Local seniors reviewing banking strategies after scam in Waukesha County

NOW: Local seniors reviewing banking strategies after scam in Waukesha County

MILWAUKEE COUNTY (CBS 58) -- After a series of scams targeting accounts belonging to older individuals, some seniors are reviewing their banking strategies.

According to a criminal complaint, an employee at Enterprise Credit Union in Brookfield was stealing money from accounts that hadn't been used for several months. Mark Konrath, 30, is now charged with 25 counts of identity theft.

That crime, in general, is a hot topic at Manor Park in West Allis where seniors in assisted living spoke during an info session - sharing how hard it is to just keep up with the banking system.

"Everything is on the computer. And you look at so many of them here who don't have computers. And myself, I was one of the first teachers who were licensed to teach computers. And when my great-granddaughter of five puts me to shame...it's just overwhelming," 91-year-old Virginia Streukel said.

"Sometimes, more with the seniors, they're used to having direct deposits from the social security office or their pensions or electronic payments for their utility bills - and you don't think that's going to happen to you," Claudia Romo said. She is the assistant branch manager for the Jackson Park North Shore Bank who help lead the info session.

For the situation in Brookfield - underused or ignored accounts appear to be the target for the scammer at Enterprise credit union, according to the criminal complaint.

Konrath, an employee at the credit union, is accused of stealing $25,486.29 from 19 individual bank accounts. The smallest amount taken was $5. The largest single amount was $4,700.

Court documents say: "...each of these withdrawals was from an account that was either dormant or aware that the members had been inactive or deceased..."

A public records search showed some victims may have been older and moved away from the area.

The informational meeting for seniors in West Allis was not scheduled to directly address that situation - but it did touch on a lot of related issues. Presenters stressed that seniors need to take an active role in checking their finances because - just based on age alone - they can become 'marks'.

"Sometimes it's people you trust. And it's very important that you're aware where you're standing financially and what's clearing through your account and what you have and what you don't have so that you're not a victim. It's something that, they're just vulnerable," Romo said.

Enterprise Credit Union did reimburse all the accounts that had money stolen.

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