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Survivors Cautioned to Beware of Frauds and Scams

Monday, 08 June 2015
Main Content
Release date:
June 7, 2015
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AUSTIN, Texas – State and federal recovery officials urge Texans affected by the ongoing severe storms and floods to watch for and report any suspicious activity or potential fraud.

Even as government agencies and charitable groups continue to provide disaster assistance, scam artists, identity thieves and other criminals may attempt to prey on vulnerable survivors. The most common post-disaster fraud practices include phony housing inspectors, fraudulent building contractors, bogus pleas for disaster donations and fake offers of state or federal aid.

“Scam attempts can be made over the phone, by mail or email, or in person,” said Federal Coordinating Officer Kevin Hannes of Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). “Con artists are creative and resourceful, so we urge Texans to remain alert, ask questions and require identification when someone claims to represent a government agency.”

Survivors should also keep in mind that state and federal workers never ask for or accept money, and always carry identification badges with a photograph. There is no fee required to apply for or to get disaster assistance from FEMA, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) or the state. Additionally, no state or federal government disaster assistance agency will call to ask for your financial account information; unless you place a call to the agency yourself, you should not provide personal information over the phone – it can lead to identity theft.

Those who suspect fraud can call the FEMA Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721 (toll free). Complaints may also be made to local law enforcement agencies.


Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status.  If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-FEMA (3362). For TTY call 800-462-7585.

FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.  Follow us on Twitter at  https://twitter.com/femaregion6.


The SBA is the federal government’s primary source of money for the long-term rebuilding of disaster-damaged private property. SBA helps businesses of all sizes, private non-profit organizations, homeowners and renters fund repairs or rebuilding efforts and cover the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged personal property. These disaster loans cover losses not fully compensated by insurance or other recoveries and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations. For more information, applicants may contact SBA’s Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center by calling (800) 659-2955, emailing   This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , or visiting SBA’s website at www.sba.gov/disaster. Deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals may call (800) 877-8339.

Falcon Bank Recognizes Denisse Gracia as Banker of the First-Quarter for the Rio Grande Valley Region!

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Denisse Gracia has been selected as the Employee of the First-Quarter 2015 for the Rio Grande Valley Region. Denisse is a Teller at our Brownsville branch but is training to further assist the branch as a Financial Service Representative. Denisse has been a member of the Falcon family for almost five-years. Congratulations to Denisse on this milestone!


Falcon Bank Announces Slew of Promotions

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Falcon International Bank President and COO, Gilbert Narvaez Jr., has announced the promotions of six individuals: Rafael Gutierrez, Jose Martinez, Laura Santos-Rendon, Jessica Arredondo, Judith Gutierrez and Ricardo Ramirez.

These employees were recognized for their dedication of personal and professional achievement at Falcon Bank’s staff meeting held at the Falcon lake house.


R. Gutierrez

Rafael Gutierrez was promoted to senior vice president of lending. He has been a member of the Falcon family for over 15 years and boasts over 30 years of banking experience.

Gutierrez specializes in commercial lending at the downtown branch and was instrumental in setting up Falcon’s Representatives Offices in Monterrey, Mexico and Guadalajara, Mexico. He graduated with a major in accounting in 1972 from The Universidad Regiomontana in Monterrey.

Gutierrez is a proud member of the San Agustin Diocese.




Martinez was promoted to assistant vice president within the Loan Review Department for the Credit Administration area.

He actively pursues professional development and after obtaining a bachelor’s degree in business accounting with a minor in finance he went on to receive a master’s degree in business administration in international banking. Martinez has been a valued part of Falcon Bank for over eight years.

He is an active member of the Official Ambassadors Program for the City of Laredo’s Conventions and Visitors Bureau and a graduate of the Laredo Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Laredo Program.




Santos-Rendon was promoted to senior BSA specialist. She is responsible for executing the bank’s anti-money laundering policies and procedures.

Santos-Rendon is in constant communication with account officers and frontline personnel to make sure that the appropriate actions are being taken to ensure that the bank has a strong know your customer program and to educate them on the bank’s due diligence practices.

She has been with Falcon Bank for 13 years.




Arredondo was promoted to operations officer. She has been a valued part of Falcon Bank for over 14 years.

Aside from her day-to-day duties of working in and managing the ATM department, Arredondo’s additional responsibilities include supervising the Bookkeeping Department. She is an active member at St Vincent de Paul Church, and a proud contributor to both United Way and St Jude’s Children Hospital.

She has volunteered for Laredo Junior Achievement and the American Cancer Society and participates in the Relay for Life walks.



J. Gutierrez

Judith Gutierrez was promoted to assistant vice president. She works in the Internal Audit Department and as an auditor she is responsible for providing an independent objective assurance and reporting activity designed to improve the bank’s operations and the systems internal controls.

Gutierrez has been a member of the Falcon family for over eight years. She has a bachelor’s degree in accounting and a master’s in professional accountancy. She is active in the community and represents Falcon by currently serving as chair of Youth Leadership Laredo.

Gutierrez has been on the Leadership Laredo Board for almost seven years and she is currently serving as a Laredo ambassador.




Ramirez was promoted to assistant vice president. He is a native of Laredo and has been with the bank for 10 years.

Ramirez works in the Loan Operations Department and in his new role he will be primarily responsible for ensuring that all loan documentation and transactions conform to policy and regulations along with assisting officers and customers with any loan inquiries.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and is currently completing his final semester to earn a master’s in business administration with a concentration in international business.

Ramirez has been banker of the month on several occasions and in 2010 was voted as Banker of the Year.

Victor Barberena has been named Falcon Bank's Banker of the Month for April!

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Falcon Bank is pleased to recognize the Banker of the Month for April 2015, Victor Barberena! Victor works as a Financial Service Representative at the Downtown Branch in Laredo. He has been a member of the Falcon family for almost ten years! Congratulations to Victor!


Francisco “Paco” Cortez has been named Falcon Bank's Banker of the Month for March!

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Falcon Bank is pleased to recognize the Banker of the Month for March 2015, Francisco ‘Paco’ Cortez! Paco works as a member of Falcon’s Support Services Staff and has been a member of the Falcon family for over twelve years! Congratulations to Paco!


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