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Scotiabank contacting ‘limited number’ of customers after suspicious employee activity

People are seen entering and leaving a Scotiabank branch in Toronto on Thursday, April 9, 2015. The Bank of Nova Scotia's chief economist says it's unlikely a recession will hit Canada's economy. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette.
People are seen entering and leaving a Scotiabank branch in Toronto on Thursday, April 9, 2015. The Bank of Nova Scotia's chief economist says it's unlikely a recession will hit Canada's economy. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette.

Scotiabank said it is contacting some customers it believes could be at risk of fraud after an employee accessed “a limited number” of client accounts without a valid business reason.

“The employee is no longer with the bank,” Scotia told Global News via email.

“The safety and security of our customers and their information is a top priority for the bank and we take this matter seriously. Impacted customers are being contacted and we are cooperating with relevant authorities,” the bank also said.

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The bank did not say how many customers it believes have been affected or what information may have been accessed.

B.C. couple has identity stolen in CERB scam
B.C. couple has identity stolen in CERB scam

Tory Zenkewich, an Edmonton-based nurse, says he’s one of the customers affected by the breach.

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He says an agent from Scotiabank told him in a phone call on Monday that a data breach had occurred affecting his date of birth, address, phone number and social insurance number.

Zenkewich, who took out an auto loan with Scotia on July 1, says he’s had to take a few days off work to deal with the stress of the situation.

“I have enough of sh-t going on at the hospital without having to deal with very well-paid banks and their data breaches,” he says.

Concern about a possible data breach emerged on the social media forum Reddit on Monday night after a user claimed the bank had contacted him via telephone saying the personal information of some customers may have been compromised.

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In response to a Global News inquiry about the Reddit thread, Scotia said this was not “a cyber-related incident.”