The Emerald Avenger entered the bank disguised as Welch. Jake Welch normally banked at the branch in Seattle, so the Emerald Avenger went to the Tacoma office. He walked up to a banker, an auburn college age kid with freckles, who stood at the front counter.
The banker said, â€œHow can I help you?â€
â€œIâ€™m Jake Welch,â€the Emerald Avenger said. â€œI need to do a wire transfer.â€
â€œSure. How much would you like to send?â€
That got him arched eyebrows. â€œBuying a house?â€
What? â€œSomething like that.â€
After the banker got Welchâ€™s identification from the Emerald Avenger, the banker looked at Welchâ€™s accounts. â€œSir, you only have $8,000 in your checking account.â€
Who did this guy think he was? â€œLike I didnâ€™t know that! Transfer over all the available funds on my home equity credit line, my savings accounts, certificates of deposit, and IRAs.â€
After all the fees, that left him with exactly enough money for the transfer, but an empty checking account would get caught sooner than he wanted it to be. He frowned like he was having second thoughts, but was too committed to back out. â€œYou know, I need to eat. Transfer the available credit on my Visa card to my checking account.â€ At a very high interest rate.
The Emerald Avenger wet his lips each time he signed Welchâ€™s signature on all the forms, which seemed to stack as high as in a cartoon. What if Zolgron was wrong, what if his signature wasnâ€™t an exact forgery of Welchâ€™s? What if it got traced back to Dave Johnson?
Â He gave the banker the scammerâ€™s swift codeâ€”the number that said where to wire the money, apparently. The banker sent him a curious look. â€œYouâ€™re buying a house in Nigeria?â€
Would he please stop asking questions? â€œYes.â€
The Emerald Avenger signed the last paper and grinned. Yes! Free at last!
The banker headed off to transmit the wire. The Emerald Avenger turned around and gasped at the man walking inâ€”the real Jake Welch.
Continued Next Tuesday
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