NEWS

Royal Bank customer says fraudster fooled phone banking agent

04/16/2015 09:07 EDT | Updated 06/28/2015 06:59 EDT
A Royal Bank branch in Cornwall, Ont., has apologized to a customer who says a stranger gained access to his account via telephone banking, even though he gave the wrong answers to the security questions.

Montreal resident Glen Langburt told CBC Daybreak on Thursday that he first learned of the alleged identity theft in mid-March after his wife tried to fill up at a gas station, and discovered her debit and credit cards had been frozen.

Langburt called the bank and discovered that an unknown man had recently called up Royal Bank's customer service line to gain access to his account.

"I'm shocked. I've been a Royal Bank customer for 45 years now," Langburt said.

Transcript shows failed security questions

He said he was able to get a transcript of the phone call, and recounted some of the call details to Daybreak host Mike Finnerty.

First, he said, the caller got questions about his birth year, banking products and regular deposits wrong. He said the customer service agent did not ask his personal security questions — for example, the name of his first pet or the town his father grew up in.

Then, Langburt said, "The [customer service] person on the phone feeds the fraudster one of my work addresses."

The would-be thief then changed the address on file and ordered new cheques.

"These cheques were sent out right away. The bank tried to stop them but they were sent out within a day," Langburt said.

RBC sent CBC News an email statement saying it is carefully reviewing the case.

"It's a rare and unique occurrence," a representative of the bank said. "We apologize to the clients for this incident, and we are committed to taking steps to resolve the matter and to help protect them."

Langburt said the bank told him that since he didn't incur a financial loss, there wasn't much they could do besides limiting the number of people at RBC who can make changes to his account.

He said he came forward to warn others about this kind of identity theft.

"The bank is really responsible for all this right now," Langburt said.

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