An Ontario woman has been told by the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) that she is responsible for paying off more than $3,000 taken from her account last fall.
Jessica Lyons of Whitby, Ont. said she last used her bank debit card at a gas station in October 2022.
Lyons said she didn’t notice it was missing until the next day when her bank accounts were frozen due to fraudulent activity.
“I do remember that the gas station was the last place I used my card,” she said.
In those 24 hours, someone used Lyons’ card and PIN code to deposit three fraudulent cheques at various RBC locations. They were able to withdraw a total of $3,294 from her accounts.
During an investigation, Lyons said she was told security footage showed it wasn’t her who had deposited the fake cheques, but that the bank said she must have given someone her PIN code.
“I told them I did not give out my PIN. I just went to use my card and I thought I had my card and I realized I lost my card. My PIN was not given to anybody,” Lyons said.
Lyons said she has a daily withdrawal limit of $1,500, so she’s unsure why the transactions were allowed to go through.
Following the investigation, RBC determined Lyons was responsible for the missing funds, leaving her on the hook to repay the money as her case has been sent to a collections agency.
“I was really upset, it put me to tears because I was really expecting they were going to help me, being their customer,” she said.
Heather Colquhoun with RBC Executive Communications told CTV News Toronto while they recognize frauds or scams are “difficult and stressful” situations for clients, they review each incident on a case-by-case basis.
“We remind clients to immediately notify the bank if they become aware of an unauthorized transaction, or if their client card is lost or stolen,” Colquhoun said in a statement.
“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. A client’s PIN is their electronic signature and identifies them as the authorized user of the client card. It is important for clients to protect their PIN and client card. This includes memorizing their PIN if possible and keeping it secure by never sharing this information with others.”
RBC agreed to review Lyons’ case again, but the result went unchanged. She said she is still responsible to pay off the balance and overdraft charges, totalling $3,489.
“I don’t know how I’m going to pay this money. It’s going to be very hard.”