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Defrauded with $30,000 in his account, which BMO refuses to pay

BMO disclaims all responsibility in a series of scams that a 66-year-old Rawdon woman was victim to last fall totaling $30,000.

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“My mom can’t sleep at night, she’s very emotional and that’s why I’m talking to you,” says her son, Patrick Bailey. It’s his retirement money! »

On September 28, Diane Bertrand discovered that two transfers of $10,000 had each been transferred without her knowledge, one week apart, to an unknown recipient: Hilaria Molisso. The transit function was used. Introduced since 2021 at BMO to facilitate international money transfers via mobile device.

Upset, Mrs. Bertrand called the BMO and went to a branch, where her bank card and credit card had been destroyed. He was given a new discount card.

“The bank employee told him that until further notice only deposits and no withdrawals would be possible,” says his son, who manages the property for his mother.

However, on October 4, a third euro transfer of $9,995 was made to Alessia D’Imperio, quite another oddity.

“How can we let a third $10,000 transaction pass without doing anything? Our money is not protected at all!” says Patrick Bailey indignantly.

Shock and shattered hopes

Shocked to learn of the case the next day, Mrs. Bertrand returns to BMO, where she is said to have obtained another new debit card. She was also told to run a viral scan of her cell phone, which she did.

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She also filed a complaint with the police and transferred the money she had left to Desjardins.

Just before Christmas, the BMO Complaint Review Office denied Ms. Bertrand’s request for compensation, offering her only credit for the $63.24 bill she incurred for cell phone analysis. In the denial letter, BMO wrote that the customer “contributed to the unauthorized use of her account by failing to protect her debit card and confidential identification codes.”

Outdated protections

The message also indicates that the customer did not change their passwords immediately, as stipulated, and that they used single-use codes sent to them via text message for transactions.

“One-time codes can be sent to the fraudster if the phone is hacked. This is an outdated method! Security experts have been telling banks to stop using it for at least ten years,” responds Simon Marchand, fraud prevention expert at Geocomply.

He adds that changing the card password through a hacked device will not protect the victim. The expert is of the opinion that banks have a responsibility to protect their customers, even against themselves. Even more so when it comes to vulnerable customers who aren’t necessarily comfortable with technology.

“We know that someone has been a victim of fraud, and we are taking measures to destroy the cards, and these are large sums, so why didn’t we contact the customer just to confirm his participation in the transaction? Asks the expert, who should also invest in voice or behavioral biometrics banks in order to enhance security customers.

At BMO, we cannot comment on a specific situation for reasons of confidentiality, but we do say that customer protection is a priority and that every situation is taken seriously.

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“Account protection is always a partnership between customers and their bank. Customers are responsible for protecting their bank account information and online and mobile credentials and frequently changing passwords,” the foundation wrote.

In November, Newspaper Detected other cases of wire transfer fraud at BMO, for which the organization was refusing chargebacks. Some of them have since been replaced.

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