February 6, 2023

La Ronge Northerner

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Fraud victim: BMO lost access to his own money for 37 days

A young father has not received his money for 37 days after his BMO account was blocked due to suspicious activity.

Jonathan Labrie Dumoulin has made several visits to the bank in recent weeks to seek compensation and get his funds back. Due to the sluggishness and lack of cooperation, he decided to open a new account at the National Bank, which would finally allow him to receive this week’s wages.

“The bank made me feel like it was my fault and I had to prove I wasn’t the one who cheated. I’m fed up and I’m afraid I’ll never see my money again,” said the 33-year-old man, who filed a fraud complaint with Granby police.

The nightmare began on the morning of October 24, when a convenience store transaction was declined. Jonathan checked his bank account and realized that a hacker had been very active during the night: three checks for $1182.09, $2182.09 and $4182.09 had been deposited there, followed by dozens of small transfers to the name OUBLA. Paid $522 at Bell and transacted $3146 at RockAuto.

Without resources

The young man immediately went to his bank in Granby. His file was supposed to be sent to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Center (CAFC) so that it could shed light, but that would have been done only three days later.

“I thought it was going to be resolved quickly with anti-fraud insurance, but that’s just the beginning of the chaos,” says the father of two young children, who can no longer pay his mortgage, electric bill or his cards. debt.

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Jonathan Labrie Dumoulin confirms that BMO never returns his calls and that he is struggling to get the information in his file. A few times, he traveled from Montreal to Granby to go to the bank. He was told that the CAFC hearing would take about ten days. But after a 30-day wait, he was asked to provide a virus scan of his computer so the investigation could continue.

“I lived without money for 30 days and now I have to pay to check my computer? I can’t believe it! Also, I was told to use my resources!” says the telephone operator.

Police investigation

He underwent a Mac scan on November 25. He is still awaiting follow-up from the bank, which removed the fake check deposits from his account and the hacker’s six transfers, but did not provide details.

At BMO, we note that issue processing time may vary depending on its complexity. Mr. Granby police began an investigation after Labrie Dumoulin reported fraud.

In the event of an attack, it is recommended that you contact your bank immediately to freeze the account or card. If a criminal investigation is to be initiated, a complaint must be filed with the police.

Hackers love the entire holiday shopping season

Vigilance is needed at all times, but especially during the holidays, when pirates are still active.

“They try to get information from you in different ways, and when they have enough, they attack. It is very difficult to prove to the bank that you are not a fraudster because they are connected to your card number and your password, as if they entered your house with a key,” the cybersecurity expert said. Simon Fontaine, president of ARS Solutions observes.

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Preferred ways to extract information include: free insecure apps where you may have provided too many details about yourself, phishing emails and text messages.

They rely on urgency

Without commenting on a specific case, the police follow a number of schemes.

“Fraudsters often rely on urgency and ask you for a lot of information, for example, to block an account. It’s a trap,” said Granby police spokesman Guy Russo.

To protect yourself: Avoid easy codes or passwords such as birthdays, addresses or first names. Also, you should change them frequently and then check the transactions in your bank accounts frequently.

Also, don’t keep any sensitive information on your phone.

“A hacker who gets into a company’s computer network stays there for an average of 160 days, and from there he can get into your phone because there are links from email boxes. Your information is everywhere,” warns Mr. Fontaine.

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