BMO Financial Group and Simplii Financial issued statements today saying that fraudsters contacted them May 27 claiming to have accessed client information. Simplii, CIBC’s direct banking brand, says 40,000 clients may be affected.

BMO said fraudsters claimed that they were in possession of certain personal and financial information for a limited number of customers. “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,” stated the bank.

Customers should monitor their accounts

BMO also said it has notified and is working with authorities as it continues to assess the situation. “We are proactively contacting those customers that may have been impacted and we will support and stand by them.” BMO is recommending that customers monitor their accounts and notify BMO with any suspicious activity.

Boosted online security

In its statement, Simplii Financial advised its clients that it has implemented additional online security measures in response to a claim received on May 27 that fraudsters “may have electronically accessed certain personal and account information for approximately 40,000 of Simplii's clients.”

Simplii says that it immediately “began investigating to understand the claim and verify its accuracy. Simplii also says it moved quickly to implement enhanced online fraud monitoring and online banking security measures.

Taking the claim seriously

"We're taking this claim seriously and have taken action to further enhance our monitoring and security procedures," said Michael Martin, Senior Vice-President, Simplii Financial. "We feel that it is important to inform clients so that they can also take additional steps to safeguard their information."

Simplii is recommending that clients use a complex password and pin and monitor their accounts for signs of unusual activity.

Will return money in case of fraud

Simplii says if a client is a victim of fraud because of this issue, “we will return 100 per cent of the money lost from the affected bank account.”