Letter to the editor: SunTrust employee helpful in preventing loss from scam

Dec. 22, 2012 @ 07:10 PM

Editor:

My mother, a customer of SunTrust on Dolly Parton Parkway, is 85 years old and recently lost her husband. Last week, Mom got caught up in a telephone scam, whereby the crooks, pretending to be with the Social Security Administration, got her to reveal her social security number, as well as credit cards and bank accounts, one being SunTrust.

She was informed that her late husband had made an investment 16 years ago which was now mature, if only she would pay taxes in the amount of $2,448, wiring it directly to another bank account. This, of course, must be done immediately and she was not to tell anyone about the reasons, or the investment money would not be coming to her. She proceeded to SunTrust to complete the transfer. Thank the good Lord that Ms. Lori Ann Brandel was there and recognized the situation.

Ms. Brandel calmly talked to Mom, trying to convince her she should not complete this and that she was being taken advantage of. Even though Mom was insisting on the transfer, Ms. Brandel was able to get her to give up my brother’s phone number. Between my brother and me, we were able to get mom to return home and not make the money transfer. Mom was very upset, but she said Ms. Brandel hugged her and gave her reassurance that this was the right decision.

Later I took Mom back to the bank and met with Ms. Brandel myself to close and move accounts within SunTrust. I was able to thank her for saving Mom from being a senior victim. She took care of changing the accounts, filing new auto withdrawals for the electric and water companies, and giving us good advice on other changes we needed to make for Mom’s protection.

To say she was helpful would be an understatement. I have rarely met people with the abilities that Ms. Brandel possesses for compassion, customer service, to complete so many tasks, and to keep everything straight. I cannot thank her enough and I congratulate SunTrust on finding such high quality employees.

Bruce Parker

Sevierville