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A Canadian suffering from cancer had his bank account emptied of $87,000 after the bank, BMO, fell for a scam. He's spent a year fighting to get the money back, and the issue is still not resolved.
Photo Credit: CBC

Canada’s BMO bank falls for scam empties customer’s account $87K

“I think [BMO was] just trying to wear me out, hoping I would just fade away … or die,” says Canadian Bruce Taylor whose bank BMO fell for a scam and emptied his account of $87,500.

The Bank of Montreal customer went public because he believes other customers should be warned about how the bank wired his inheritance money into the hands of a scammer and then reacted when they where informed by police of the fraud.

“My parents worked all their lives and put that bit away every week and they left it to myself and my sister,” Taylor told Kathy Tomlinson of CBC News. “For 50 years they saved that money and then it’s gone — overnight.”

In August of 2012, while he was having open heart surgery, someone using Taylor’s email address, emailed Taylor’s BMO investment adviser saying he needed the money wired to his cousin, immediately.

The impostor’s emails had several spelling and grammatical errors. Then the request was faxed to BMO.

“I don’t understand why the Bank of Montreal didn’t scrutinize those faxes,” said Taylor. “You can tell that they were written by someone whose first language was not English.”

As soon as Canada’s federal police force, the RCMP, confirmed BMO had been duped, Taylor said he expected the bank to replace his money. Instead, he went through months of wrangling with BMO lawyers and managers.

“The bank has determined it will reimburse you the full amount, subject to the following,” reads a BMO letter to Taylor in January. There are two pages of legally binding conditions, including Taylor agreeing to have no further claims against the bank.

“I am afraid to sign that BMO agreement,” said Taylor. “I do not understand why BMO just does not replace my money.”

More information:
CBC News/Kathy Tomlinson - BMO customer’s account emptied of $87K as bank falls for scam (includes video report) – here

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6 comments on “Canada’s BMO bank falls for scam empties customer’s account $87K
  1. LilyLo says:

    As customers, it would be important to know if the bank was up front and honest about admitting the error and taking responsibility towards the client. This has not been made clear.

  2. FraudHater says:

    A reminder to everyone to change their email password often. Fraudsters obviously got into his account (sold to them by an inside employee, no doubt) and went through his emails looking for emails to an advisor in a financial institution. This has been done often to Canada’s banks who until recently went on blind faith and acted on the emails they received from “clients”. Now, they have put policies in place whereby verbal contact must be made with their clients wanting large sums of money to be wired…

  3. Clint Wong says:

    I am sorry that I have to side with BMO because the conditions were to protect the bank as well as the customers. The reasons for being so are: 1)the bank is operating on “trust” from the customers, 2)the bank agreed to reimburse in full amount subject to conditions…have no further claims against the bank, that is fair and just, 3)you were too afraid to sign because you want more than the amount you lost, plus what??

    Here comes down to fair or greed. The reason why the bank wanted to have “no further claims against the bank” clauses because it doesn’t want to open up an “open end” case to against to the bank, period.

    • Gerrold Trevors says:

      Clint you are absolutely wrong on that. As a legal professional whose dealt with banks I can tell you they are merely looking out for themselves not for “there customers as well”. Also in Canada there are several binding laws on banks when it comes to personal accounts. For example by law they need to replace the money within a certain time frame via their insurer. Also the victim IS NOT LEGALLY REQUIRED TO SIGN ANYTHING OR ANY AGREEMENT to get his money back. They are hoping he does not go to a good lawyer who will simply point that out to him. If he decides to sue them at a later date it is perfectly within his right. Meanwhile they are required to reimburse him his monies.

      Also all big banks carry insurance against theft and fraud (because CDIC does not have anything to do with that). In the end the bank does not want its insurance rates to go up do to its employee’s errors by making a claim even a small one (and trust me 87,000+ is a very small claim for a bank like BMO). They are greedy and way out of line.

      Sue the bastards.

      • Bruce Taylor says:

        Mr Trevors

        Being here in Texas makes it difficult to find a lawyer. Are you one or could recomend one?

        Bruce Taylor

  4. Edward Schweikert says:

    Standard Operational Bull-s___, SOB. Does that legal paper have a time and/or item limit? He cannot sue the bank forever on this action, even if the bank falls for a similar scam in the future. Will he throw away all rights and liberties?

    He should seek legal counsel because it is probably written in legalize language.