A B.C. couple says they will never use e-transfer to send money again after losing hundreds of dollars while trying to pay their monthly rent.
“I don’t think it’s safe at all,” said Emily Wager.
For the past five years, the couple had been using the money transfer service without issue.
However, back in April, that trust was shattered when Wager’s husband, Tommy Kirkley, e-transferred $950.00 in rent money.
The funds never arrived in the landlord’s bank account.
Kirkley and Wager went to their local TD Canada Trust and reported the incident.
Eventually, Kirkley says, the case was escalated to the TD fraud department.
Still, Kirkley says he was reassured by TD Bank to e-transfer funds in the future.
“They said everything is safe and secure go ahead,” said Kirkley.
With rent money still owing, Kirkley’s wife decided to e-transfer another $950.00 from her own account which is also with TD Canada Trust.
She was shocked to discover that once again the funds never arrived in the landlord’s bank account.
“It was heartbreaking,” said Wager.
Again, the couple turned to TD Bank for answers, but say the process was exhausting.
For six months, the couple says there was no explanation from the bank explaining how the e-transfers were intercepted.
Wager says there was plenty of finger pointing by TD Bank, even the suggestion the landlord’s email may have been compromised.
However, Wager says the landlord’s email provider concluded there was no security breach.
Still, after months of battling with TD, the couple’s claims were denied.
“We got a whole bunch of different answers with no one actually knowing how this happened,” said Wager.
The couple turned to Consumer Matters for help.
“We work to thoroughly review any concern brought to us by our customers; however, due to privacy considerations, we are unable to comment on the specifics of this case,” TD told Global News.
“More information about e-transfer fraud and the steps Canadians can take to protect themselves can be found on the TD Newsroom web page,” it added.
Wager says 48 hours after Consumer Matters reached out to TD, she received a call from the bank.
“They said they reviewed my case and they were so sorry with the run around I’ve gotten. They couldn’t believe how many times I tried to contact them,” said Wager.
She says TD Bank made no mention of fraud, but said she would be getting $950.00 dollars back. Her husband received nothing.
“I don’t understand their decision to refund hers and not mine,” said Kirkley.
Some cyber security experts say banks should do a better job educating the public about the risks around using e-transfer.
“I think banks at a minimum should have stronger warnings when creating those security questions and answers to ensure that people understand there’s a risk and that they should choose something that is more difficult to guess than most of the questions people are using today,” said Chester Wisniewski cyber security specialist at Sophos.
“A better step would be to offer optional two factor authentication.”