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Keep an eye on your balances at Simplii
February 8, 2024
11:30 pm
Top Dogg
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Hi,

I just moved some funds over to Simplii Financial last week for the 5.50% promotional interest rate that ends on March 31, 2024. On Tuesday February 6th, I moved some funds over to Tangerine from Simplii. Then when I logged into my Tangerine Account today, I noticed that there was a hold on my funds which I found odd since all the Financial Institutions that I have dealt with don't do that unless you're depositing a cheque. So anyways, I logged into my Simplii account this evening and saw that someone tried to write a cheque for $17,500 in my name. Thankfully the cheque was reversed as there weren't sufficient funds in my chequing account but Simplii still charged me a $45 NSF fee. Immediately after seeing this, I naturally called Simplii and told them what had happened but they have yet to reimburse me for the $45 NSF fee which they said they would do.

Just wanted to give everyone a heads up on what just happened to me there in case anyone here has moved over funds there for the 5.5% promotional rate. Also, I only ever had a chequing account there until last week and just opened up a high interest savings account there last week.

Thanks,
TD

February 9, 2024
4:42 am
Alexandre
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If Simplii account has "view cheque image" option, I recommend to take a look at that cheque. What you have can be considered identity theft, it would be useful for you to find the severity of it.
Does this cheque has all your info and signature that looks like yours, or just your correct Simplii account number and everything else is not - that sort of things.

If there is no such option online, call Simplii and request them provide you with image of that cheque.

February 9, 2024
5:14 am
savemoresaveoften
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If you able to get a image of the check and it looks legit, it appears someone is able to gather all your information, which includes name, address, Simplii branch and account numbers, and then order checks from a third party check vendor. That’s a pretty serious situation and first time I hear from crooks investing so much (3rd party check ordering starts at around $30 I think) to try to hack 1 account. Even more scary is they are fully aware as soon as ur Simplii account has money there ?! They must have gained full access to ur Simplii log in to do all that.

February 9, 2024
7:30 am
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savemoresaveoften said That’s a pretty serious situation and first time I hear from crooks investing so much (3rd party check ordering starts at around $30 I think) to try to hack 1 account. 

Why you think crooks order cheques from somebody.
They might have their own machines and create as many different cheques as possible. Big operation!

February 9, 2024
7:52 am
Alexandre
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In any case, it is necessary to see the cheque image. Was it "cheque washing?" Was it account number recycling by the bank? Was it identity theft and what is the scope of that theft?

The amount on cheque is quite large, consider it luck that OP ended with just NSF fee, and even that might be refunded.
Some banks offer instant cash back from deposited cheque, in amount of up to few thousand dollars. Perhaps, that was the idea: deposit fake cheque and withdraw whatever can right away - but for that to work crooks would have needed Simplii account access card and PIN.

February 9, 2024
10:33 am
Top Dogg
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Hi all,

Thanks for the replies. I logged into my Simplii account this morning and was reimbursed the $45 NSF fee.

February 9, 2024
10:50 am
Top Dogg
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There was an image of the cheque on my Chequing Account that I could view. It had my name at the top left but not my address or anything else under my name. They did have the correct account number for my Chequing Account at the bottom of the cheque though. It was Cheque #001 to..lol. Also, they fake signed my signature on the front (not my signature and not even close) of the cheque but never fake signed my name on the back of the cheque.

I was trying to tell the CSR over the phone that it appeared to be a "fake" cheque as it didn't have my address at the top but it took him awhile to understand what I was trying to say since he said that he couldn't view the cheque which I found odd.

In my opinion, it feels like it was someone who works for Simplii Financial or someone with inside knowledge just took a shot after seeing me transfer some funds over to my Chequing Account. It's just way to coincidental as I next to never use my Simplii Chequing Account and only opened up a High Interest Savings Account there last week. Also, I don't even have any cheques that say "Simplii Financial" on them either. How they tried to cash this cheque, I don't really know but if they took it could the counter at a CIBC I'm sure the teller would say something about the back of the cheque not being signed or no?

The person's name on the cheque was "Sheline Brown" obviously fake to.

February 9, 2024
10:54 am
Top Dogg
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savemoresaveoften said
If you able to get a image of the check and it looks legit, it appears someone is able to gather all your information, which includes name, address, Simplii branch and account numbers, and then order checks from a third party check vendor. That’s a pretty serious situation and first time I hear from crooks investing so much (3rd party check ordering starts at around $30 I think) to try to hack 1 account. Even more scary is they are fully aware as soon as ur Simplii account has money there ?! They must have gained full access to ur Simplii log in to do all that.  

Yes exactly. That's why I think it was someone who works for Simplii or has access to viewing external transfers. It's just to coincidental. Someone with inside knowledge took a shot and missed as I moved the funds once transferred over to Simplii fairly quickly from my Chequing Account to my High Interest Savings Account.

February 17, 2024
9:48 am
zgic
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I do NOT have a simplii account and was thinking if I should open a new account with 6% for 5 months for New Clients. Reading your post of this fake cheque is really worrisome. Is Simplii a safe bank? Is anyone currently on their 6% promo.

I wanted to know if there are a good number of people here trusting Simplii before making a decision.

Thanks

February 17, 2024
10:08 am
Norman1
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Simplii Financial is actually a brand used by CIBC.

The Simplii-branded accounts are just as safe as CIBC accounts because they are CIBC accounts, without the full access to the CIBC branches that their CIBC-branded accounts come with.

I've had my Simplii chequing and savings accounts for years, from when the accounts were branded as PC Financial accounts.

February 17, 2024
11:35 am
Top Dogg
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zgic said
I do NOT have a simplii account and was thinking if I should open a new account with 6% for 5 months for New Clients. Reading your post of this fake cheque is really worrisome. Is Simplii a safe bank? Is anyone currently on their 6% promo.

I wanted to know if there are a good number of people here trusting Simplii before making a decision.

Thanks  

zgic: I believe Simplii Financial is safe. Otherwise I wouldn't have left my funds in there after this incident. I personally think it was an employee or someone with inside knowledge of me transferring funds just taking a shot. I'm in the same boat as Norman1. I've had a Simplii Financial Chequing Account with them for years and PC Financial Chequing Account before that (since 2011 I believe). I only just recently opened up a Simplii Financial Savings Account there. If you're someone who is on top of their finances ie. logging into your accounts daily or every couple of days then I don't think you will have any problems. This is the first time that I have ever experienced anything fraudulent happen to me with regards to online banking, credit cards, etc. in all my years of online banking.

February 17, 2024
1:57 pm
iotama
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zgic said
Reading your post of this fake cheque is really worrisome.

Been with Simplii since PC days and let me tell you this is indeed worrisome. Especially how casually this appeared to have happened with one of the largest online banks in Canada (not just some wayward fintech/CU)… and the fact we only got to know about it when someone was kind enough to post it here to warn. I, for one, would not take it lightly if it happened to me and would want to raise hell in press, etc. YMMV. We shouldn't let a big bank get away with this so easily, imho.

February 17, 2024
3:23 pm
Top Dogg
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iotama said

zgic said
Reading your post of this fake cheque is really worrisome.

Been with Simplii since PC days and let me tell you this is indeed worrisome. Especially how casually this appeared to have happened with one of the largest online banks in Canada (not just some wayward fintech/CU)… and the fact we only got to know about it when someone was kind enough to post it here to warn. I, for one, would not take it lightly if it happened to me and would want to raise hell in press, etc. YMMV. We shouldn't let a big bank get away with this so easily, imho.  

iotama,

I agree. What is worrisome is that the CSR that I alerted and spoke with never said that they were going to investigate this, look into it or anything along those lines. All he told me was that I should sign up for a new Simplii Financial Chequing Account and ditch my current one since the perpetrator(s) have my chequing account number. Like I was saying in my previous post, I check my accounts daily or every couple of days so I'm always on top of things. What if it was someone who was the opposite of that and never checked their accounts and actually had some money in there, would Simplii catch it before it's too late?

February 18, 2024
10:05 am
Norman1
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One has 30 days, from the date of the chequing account statement the cheque showed up on, to dispute a phony cheque.

The account agreement requires account holders to review their accounts regularly. That is at least once a month for a chequing account.

Simplii has no liability for bogus cheques to those who never check their account statements.

February 18, 2024
2:05 pm
Doug
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Norman1 said
One has 30 days, from the date of the chequing account statement the cheque showed up on, to dispute a phony cheque.

The account agreement requires account holders to review their accounts regularly. That is at least once a month for a chequing account.

Simplii has no liability for bogus cheques to those who never check their account statements.  

While it's true people need to review their account statements every month, it's also true there is no statute of limitations under which a cheque can be returned for reason "forged endorsement" (which seems to be the case in this case). In such a case, the liability would be on the bank that accepted that bogus cheque for deposit. sf-cool

Cheers,
Doug

February 19, 2024
10:01 am
Norman1
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The time limit for forged endorsements is six years, under section 6 of Payments Canada Rule A4.

There was no endorsement on the back of the $17,000 cheque. So, "Forged Endorsement" cannot apply in this case.

Subsection 2(a) states that a fake/counterfeit cheque is treated as a case of "Forged or Unauthorized Signature". There's no execption for that in section 6. So, the default time limit to return the item, in section 5, applies: "… no later than the Business Day following receipt by the first organizational unit of the Drawee that is able to make or act upon a decision to dishonour the Item."

The $17,000 fake cheque could have been returned because of "Forged or Unauthorized Signature" or "NSF" in this case. Looks like Simplii returned the cheque as "NSF" and didn't see any point in verifying the signature.

I don't see a significant issue. Had the account held sufficient funds to honour a $17,000 cheque with a unauthorized signature, Simplii would be on the hook for the $17,000 if they didn't detect that and return the cheque the next business day.

That may not be enough to motivate Simplii to verify signatures on $7 or $17 cheques. But, definitely enough to motivate them to verify the signature on $17,000 or $170,000 cheques.

February 19, 2024
10:47 am
Top Dogg
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Doug said

While it's true people need to review their account statements every month, it's also true there is no statute of limitations under which a cheque can be returned for reason "forged endorsement" (which seems to be the case in this case). In such a case, the liability would be on the bank that accepted that bogus cheque for deposit. sf-cool

Cheers,
Doug  

Thanks for the reply Doug.

February 19, 2024
10:55 am
Top Dogg
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Norman1 said
The time limit for forged endorsements is six years, under section 6 of Payments Canada Rule A4.

There was no endorsement on the back of the $17,000 cheque. So, "Forged Endorsement" cannot apply in this case.

Subsection 2(a) states that a fake/counterfeit cheque is treated as a case of "Forged or Unauthorized Signature". There's no execption for that in section 6. So, the default time limit to return the item, in section 5, applies: "… no later than the Business Day following receipt by the first organizational unit of the Drawee that is able to make or act upon a decision to dishonour the Item."

The $17,000 fake cheque could have been returned because of "Forged or Unauthorized Signature" or "NSF" in this case. Looks like Simplii returned the cheque as "NSF" and didn't see any point in verifying the signature.

I don't see a significant issue. Had the account held sufficient funds to honour a $17,000 cheque with a unauthorized signature, Simplii would be on the hook for the $17,000 if they didn't detect that and return the cheque the next business day.

That may not be enough to motivate Simplii to verify signatures on $7 or $17 cheques. But, definitely enough to motivate them to verify the signature on $17,000 or $170,000 cheques.  

Thanks for the reply Norman1. I guess Simplii just labeled the cheque as an NSF (which technically it was) and waited to see if the holder of the account (which is me) contacted them about it. I would hope that if I had sufficient funds in my chequing account, Simplii would look a little deeper at the cheque before just letting it go through per say. Like I was saying, I think an employee or someone with inside knowledge of me transferring funds into Simplii took a shot but by the time the cheque was recognized, I had already moved the funds from my chequing account to my savings account.

You gotta remember that this is Canada, so nothing really happens anymore cause of our justice system... lol! So why not take a shot.

February 20, 2024
5:57 am
Norman1
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NSF is very easy to check for using computers. Unauthorized signature or forged endorsement is not as easy.

Culprits were not smart to attempt something like this with a cheque. There will be a hold on the funds where the cheque was deposited. Had the cheque not bounced as NSF, Simplii would have checked the signature on a $17,000 cheque within the one business day allowed. As well, people would notice if their chequing account was $17,000 short all of the sudden.

February 20, 2024
5:59 am
savemoresaveoften
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and who keeps that much in a chequing account too ?!

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