A 75 year-old Campbell River man says he can’t even sleep at night after being told by the Royal Bank that he has to pay the $23,687.18 bill he says scammers charged to his two RBC credit cards this month.
“I’m retired, I live on a pension. We don’t have that money,” said Daniel Tonner.
“On Friday morning, August 11th, I got a call from RBC’s security line, and I checked. It was the same number on the back of my credit card,” Tonner said.
But it wasn’t the Royal Bank at all. It was a scammer who had cloned the RBC fraud security phone number and the man on the other end even had Tonner’s credit card number.
“I hung up on him. Within a minute he called me back and he started again,” said Tonner.
By then there were too many red flags and Tonner went to the Campbell River branch of the Royal Bank and had both cards cancelled by a teller.
He left on a camping trip thinking the issue had been resolved, but days later he saw charges totaling over $23,000 on both cards.
A trip to the Campbell River RCMP revealed that the charges were by the British Government for Immigration Health Surcharges, charges that some migrants need to pay as part of their immigration application process.
“I just gasped and said that can’t be,” said Tonner. “I said, ‘Can’t you guys see that that’s fraud?’ All those [charges] done in 30 or 40 minutes and the bank said, ‘Well, that’s the way it goes sometimes.”
His daughter, Nicole Van Essen, thought it was such obvious fraud that the bank would quickly rectify the problem. But she was wrong.
Van Essen and her father have since filed an RCMP report and spoken with the local RBC branch manager again who Nicole says told them frauds and scams aren’t always the bank’s fault.
“That immediately perked my ear because I knew the cards had been cancelled that morning. So I said, ‘How could it not be the bank’s fault if these charges that were not visible at that time went through on the card anyways?’ How is that not the bank’s fault?” she said.
“And I go, ‘And you’re not reversing them?’ And he goes, ‘Well, we investigated and you gave too much information.’ I said I gave him nothing, he gave me my card number,” added Tonner.
It sounded like a dead end but on Friday morning, after CHEK News began investigating, RBC called Daniel Tonner to say the bank was reopening its investigation.
In a statement to CHEK News, RBC said:
“We realize that any time a client is affected by fraud or scams, it can be a difficult and stressful situation for them. We encourage clients to reach out to us if they have been impacted, as we review each instance on a case-by-case basis.”
“While we cannot speak to the specifics of this situation due to client privacy, we can advise that we are reviewing this matter and will continue to reach out to our client directly to discuss the situation.”
“We have a number of fraud prevention measures in place, which include providing information on how to prevent fraud (for example see our website – Protecting Yourself). Clients also have a responsibility to take all other reasonable precautions to maintain the security of their account to prevent the possibility of fraudulent transactions.”