Fraudsters target BMO and CIBC’s Simplii Financial
The incidents took place on Sunday (27 May) and both organisations have revealed the information.
BMO says: “We believe they originated the attack from outside the country. We took steps immediately when the incident occurred and we are confident that exposures identified related to customer data have been closed off.”
The bank adds the usual stuff – that it has contacted authorities and urges customers to be vigilant.
According to BMO’s spokesperson, the issue appears to be related to a similar one at Simplii Financial, CIBC’s direct banking brand.
Simplii says: “On Sunday we received a claim that fraudsters electronically accessed certain personal and account information for some of our clients.
“While this issue affects a limited number of individuals, we are providing an update to all Simplii clients. Immediately upon learning of the issue, Simplii Financial implemented enhanced online fraud monitoring and online banking security procedures. We are continuing to work with cybersecurity experts, law enforcement and others to protect Simplii clients’ data and interests.”
It adds: “We want to assure you that if you are affected by fraud because of this issue, we will return 100% of the money lost from the affected Simplii account.”
According to CBC News, via a letter received by media outlets across Canada, someone said they were demanding a $1 million ransom from the banks.
“Criminals will use Simplii and BMO client informations to apply for products credit using social insurance number, date of birth and all other personnal info,” the letter says.
The email ended with a sample of the information in question: the names, dates of birth, social insurance number (SIN) and account balances of an Ontario man and a woman living in British Columbia.
The woman, who asked not to be named, confirmed when contacted by CBC News that the information in the email, which also included the answers to her three security questions, was accurate.
“Holy s*#!,” she said. “I’m very upset about this… How could this happen?”
Michael McCarthy of Edmonton told CBC News that a fraudulent transfer for $980 was sent from his Simplii Financial account on Saturday (26 May).
“The bank said they blocked it, but it still hasn’t been reversed,” he said, adding that the bank hasn’t told him when it will be corrected.
“My biggest concern is around my personal information in someone else’s hands.”
BMO and Simplii are still investigating.
Other Canadian banks appear to be unaffected. There are no issues mentioned on the websites of Bank of Nova Scotia (Scotiabank), Royal Bank of Canada or TD Bank.
This story was previously published on 29 May 2018 with the same headline. It has been updated to reflect the letter sent to CBC News.