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It's horrible for her but I don't know what more the banks could have done. It's not like they could require a 20 hour class about fraud and a psych eval before allowing large transfers. I get the impression that anything less, she would have simply lied her way through out of fear.
 

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I don't know what the banks can do here other than cooperate in investigating the fraud. I'm curious how the fraud worked. The CBC story indicated that the woman was persuaded to transfer the money so that they could "inspect Zheng's money and return it". I don't know what sense that makes to anyone.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
For the first 15 years of my career, we probably did a few wires a week. Then I moved to a downtown Toronto branch with a large ethnic community and small business/commercial base. We did dozens of wires a day there. Time consuming and risky transactions.

these stories always bring out emotions in me. any time we asked for for more details from a customer....why are you sending this wire, where did you get this cheque, is this a regular cheque?, have you dealt with this other person before........we’d get our heads chewed off! It’s not your business! It’s my money!

this is tough for the banks.....ask more questions and tighten things up...you alienate people......loosen things up and “do as we are told”, then losses occur.
 

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these stories always bring out emotions in me. any time we asked for for more details from a customer....why are you sending this wire, where did you get this cheque, is this a regular cheque?, have you dealt with this other person before........we’d get our heads chewed off! It’s not your business! It’s my money!
I've sent a lot of wires while living internationally. It's a ridiculously archaic system. I have to agree to so many liability disclaimers that I might as well use a more efficient alternative

This is why blockchains will eat their lunch if banks don't get on board. Far more secure and efficient. US banks have already realized this but I'm not sure the Canadian banks have
 

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I say both are at fault here.

First, the lady should have ignored that call (or better yet, ditch the cellphone) and none of this would have happened.

Second, the banks are not keen on "helping you, the PITA customer" on fighting fraud (other than providing lip service). They're great (their expertise) in doing wire transfers so they can charge a bundle so as to keep its shareholders happy. And anything over $10K (wire transfer or not) doesn't get questioned as per anti-money laundering laws, how convenient.

I guess we can all conveniently skip this part:
Red flags ignored?
As Iafolla reviewed the documents, she noted a number of glaring red flags that seemed to have gone unnoticed.

For one, she said, the sheer size of the wire transfers alone should have prompted frontline staff to make more inquiries.

"The amount is incredible," said Iafolla, who says each bank had a responsibility to have a probing conversation with Zheng.

"They're supposed to question you when you have a transaction that appears to be suspicious. That's part of the legislation. So over $10,000 certainly that would get reported for being a suspicious transaction."

The banks' current anti-fraud measures aren't enough, she says, and should involve, "a real serious conversation — not one that ticks the boxes to say, 'Well, we complied, we asked you these discrete questions and so we've discharged ourselves of our obligation.'"


The bank fraud story above a drop in the bucket compared to this big fish that happened in Ontario (which probably everyone has read/heard by now):

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/ont-covid-fraud-1.5816899

...According to the lawsuit, Sanjay Madan and his family opened more than 400 accounts at the Bank of Montreal between April and May. They then deposited around 10,000 cheques made out to fictitious applicants with thousands of non-existent children under the support program. ...
How can one open "400" bank accounts without detection for a start? I'm guessing a stellar "bank employee" was either asleep or had his/her eyes closed while this was happening. And please don't use the excuse the fraudster was an "IT specialist working" and there were none at the bank? [Re thinking here ... maybe there was none considering the need to save a dime there.???]
 

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Really there is nothing the banks can do.
If they refused to process the transfer, they'd get slammed for being discriminatory.

There are a LOT of people who transfer money back and forth internationally.
Plus she lied through their questioning, she openly admits that.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I say both are at fault here.

First, the lady should have ignored that call (or better yet, ditch the cellphone) and none of this would have happened.

Second, the banks are not keen on "helping you, the PITA customer" on fighting fraud (other than providing lip service). They're great (their expertise) in doing wire transfers so they can charge a bundle so as to keep its shareholders happy.

I guess we can all conveniently skip this part:


The bank fraud story above a drop in the bucket compared to this big fish that happened in Ontario (which probably everyone has read/heard by now):

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/ont-covid-fraud-1.5816899



How can one open "400" bank accounts without detection ... guess a stellar "bank employee" was either asleep or had his/her eyes closed while this was happening And please don't use the excuse the fraudster was an IT specialist and there were none at the bank ??? Or maybe there was none considering the need to save dimes there.
I’d disagree that the amounts were “large”. Really anything below $100,000 is pretty routine. I Suppose she had accounts at each of these banks?
 

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I’d disagree that the amounts were “large”. Really anything below $100,000 is pretty routine. I Suppose she had accounts at each of these banks?
... so are you telling me that wire-transfers over $10K does not fall under anti-money laundering laws the banks are to abide by?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
... so are you telling me that wire-transfers over $10K does not fall under anti-money laundering laws the banks are to abide by?
Banks are required to complete a Large Currency Transaction report (LCTR) for any cash deposits over $10,000. Banks are also required to submit a Suspicious Transaction Report for any transaction deemed suspicious. The latter is a judgement call. If the client answered all the inquiries To the banks satisfaction, I suspect a STR wasn’t filled out. In any event, I don’t think a STR would have prevented this anyway. As far as I know STRs aren’t meant to catch and stop “one-off” situations. I think they are used more to aggregate trends and transactions that might warrant further review down the line.

a wire over $10,000 doesn’t automatically qualify as suspicious or unusual and doesn’t involve LCTR.
 

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There are hundreds of millions of dollars lost to on line dating scams, ponzi schemes, and all the other schemes each year. Much of these monies pass through the banking system. Is it fair to hold the banks responsible for losses if monies were channeled through them?

At some point we need to stop blaming others for our mistakes, look long and hard in the mirror, and accept responsibility for our own actions. It is not always 'someone elses' fault. One simple call to the police or to the Chinese embassy may have prevented this.
 

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Banks are required to complete a Large Currency Transaction report (LCTR) for any cash deposits over $10,000. Banks are also required to submit a Suspicious Transaction Report for any transaction deemed suspicious. The latter is a judgement call. If the client answered all the inquiries To the banks satisfaction, I suspect a STR wasn’t filled out. In any event, I don’t think a STR would have prevented this anyway. As far as I know STRs aren’t meant to catch and stop “one-off” situations. I think they are used more to aggregate trends and transactions that might warrant further review down the line.
... maybe the banks need to re-look at this with "one-off amounts over $100K", say instead of "aggregating and reviewing them" ... some time ... laaaterrr.

a wire over $10,000 doesn’t automatically qualify as suspicious or unusual and doesn’t involve LCTR.
... again, the banks might want to have another look at this process.

After-all, isn't it in their interest to help or assist in fighting fraud for their "clients"? Besides, what happened with that social (or corporate?) responsibility concept? Just yada, yada, yada ... ?
 

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... Second, the banks are not keen on "helping you, the PITA customer" on fighting fraud (other than providing lip service). They're great (their expertise) in doing wire transfers so they can charge a bundle so as to keep its shareholders happy ....
I'm curious as to what questions the bank reps could ask that would make a difference?

The poor woman has already been coached to lie for what might be asked so I'm not convinced there are any questions that would snap her out of it and get her to have second thoughts.
It took her two weeks to send the wire transfers so I'm not sure why she wouldn't check in with local police or people who have been in Canada long enough to be suspicious.


... And anything over $10K (wire transfer or not) doesn't get questioned as per anti-money laundering laws, how convenient ....
What questions are required?

AFAICT ... reporting of the transaction is as far as the gov't goes. This suggests that the questions asked were more than the law requires.


..I guess we can all conveniently skip this part ...
With people sending/receiving (possibly the woman in question when she received the money from her father) far more than these individual wire transfers for RE purposes or as a beneficiary, I'm not following how it's an "incredible" amount.

Basically, the kind of thorough questioning being asked for by the financial crime expert IMO would have to be mandated by gov't legislation as without being able to say all FIs have to have this time consuming a conversation - the customer is going to be upset about it and take their money elsewhere.


Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter #13
... maybe the banks need to re-look at this with "one-off amounts over $100K", say instead of "aggregating and reviewing them" ... some time ... laaaterrr.

... again, the banks might want to have another look at this process.

After-all, isn't it in their interest to help or assist in fighting fraud for their "clients"? Besides, what happened with that social (or corporate?) responsibility concept? Just yada, yada, yada ... ?
The purpose of the reports is to identify money laundering. It can be difficult to identify money laundering through a single transaction.
 

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I'm curious as to what questions the bank reps could ask that would make a difference?

The poor woman has already been coached to lie for what might be asked so I'm not convinced there are any questions that would snap her out of it and get her to have second thoughts.
It took her two weeks to send the wire transfers so I'm not sure why she wouldn't check in with local police or people who have been in Canada long enough to be suspicious.



What questions are required?

AFAICT ... reporting of the transaction is as far as the gov't goes. This suggests that the questions asked were more than the law requires.



With people sending/receiving (possibly the woman in question when she received the money from her father) far more than these individual wire transfers for RE purposes or as a beneficiary, I'm not following how it's an "incredible" amount.

Basically, the kind of thorough questioning being asked for by the financial crime expert IMO would have to be mandated by gov't legislation as without being able to say all FIs have to have this time consuming a conversation - the customer is going to be upset about it and take their money elsewhere.


Cheers
... great questions - maybe your questions could be a make-shift project for the fraud-busting bank dept (if there is one) instead of the dumb customers. Otherwise, stay with the status-quo.
 

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... maybe the banks need to re-look at this with "one-off amounts over $100K", say instead of "aggregating and reviewing them" ... some time ... laaaterrr.
My understanding is that it's the gov't that is doing the aggregating and reviewing., not the banks.


...... again, the banks might want to have another look at this process.
And when the customer says "what is this crap - I'm moving my account elsewhere" - what then?


... After-all, isn't it in their interest to help or assist in fighting fraud for their "clients"? Besides, what happened with that social (or corporate?) responsibility concept? Just yada, yada, yada ... ?
It's a balancing act - too much of a road block and the customer moves to another bank. Too little or no questions at all and the bank would lose in court.

What happened to "cavaet emptor"?


Cheers
 

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This whole story doesn't make sense and the banks simply cannot replace the money, because people will be lined up down the street with a similar story demanding the bank pay them.

I was conned and sent money to China.....so, you can go ahead and replace it for me.

LOL...........yea, okay.
 

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The purpose of the reports is to identify money laundering. It can be difficult to identify money laundering through a single transaction.
... fair enough.

What about that ON Support For Families program fraud, 400 accounts opened with 10,000 cheques made out to them ... not a single tranaction here and no red flag until what ... 6 months later? when it goes on the news of course.
 

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... great questions - maybe your questions could be a make-shift project for the fraud-busting bank dept (if there is one) instead of the dumb customers. Otherwise, stay with the status-quo.
You do see the catch 22, right?

Where the scammers have coached the victim for what to say and to avoid talking to anyone else where the victim goes along with it - there is almost no possibility for a bank rep to find out or to get the victim to reconsider what they are doing.


Cheers
 

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My understanding is that it's the gov't that is doing the aggregating and reviewing., not the banks.

And when the customer says "what is this crap - I'm moving my account elsewhere" - what then?

It's a balancing act - too much of a road block and the customer moves to another bank. Too little or no questions at all and the bank would lose in court.

What happened to "cavaet emptor"?

Cheers
... look, the bank can whip out their banking agreement with all their Terms and Conditions anytime so would it not make sense to update that so the poor rep. can point that out? If the customer says I'm moving my account elsewhere ... so be it caveat emptor on the customer then.
 
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