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Tuesday, January 20, 2015
How Come! RBC Customer's Bank Accounts Wiped Out 3 Times By Fraud
RBC downtown Toronto. CP
Meghann Johnston has seen her RBC bank accounts looted three times by someone who stole her identity. The fraudsters walked away with tens of thousands of dollars.
Johnston calls it "an incredibly stressful" situation.
Each time, a fraudster walked into an RBC branch during business hours pretending to be Johnston, presented fake ID and was allowed to withdraw money from Johnston's account.
The first time it happened in Toronto in 2012, Johnston was a law student. She was home studying when the call came from RBC telling her she had to get to her branch right away.
"I found out that somebody had gone into a branch and was impersonating me and had withdrawn quite a large sum of money from my student line of credit," she told Go Public.
Johnston said the fraudster took $26,000. The bank gave her the money back and launched an investigation. Johnston had to go through the process of changing all her accounts and her automatic payments and had to pay the associated fees.
Account raided again 1 year later
A year later, it happened again. This time Johnston was attending university in Kingston, Ont. Someone had walked into an RBC bank in Oakville and taken thousands from her personal account. This time Johnston was not only upset about the crime, but also angry at the bank for allowing it to happen again.
"I was just so shocked because they told me that they were going to put on file that I was a victim of identity theft and that they were going to increase the security procedures."
"Each time this person presented themselves, they didn't have my client card and they didn't know my PIN and they were using fake IDs to pretend that they were me."
The bank told Johnston the thief used a driver's licence and a citizenship card with her information. Johnston remembers thinking how strange that was — since she was born in Canada.
So, for a second time, RBC reimbursed Johnston, telling her it would investigate what happened and promising to increase security on her account. This time, the bank said it would put Johnston's physical description on file.
But there were still problems.
"That message doesn't pop up in their computer system automatically," Johnston says.
"The teller has to go into the system and click through a couple of windows to do this. It's not an automatic thing that would pop up and identify me. So when I found that out I was pretty upset."
Johnston insisted RBC make sure whoever tried to access her accounts provided a client card and PIN. She said the bank refused to do that.