Home ScamsPhishing Scams Bank of Montreal ‘Annual Account Maintenance Procedure’ Phishing Scam

Bank of Montreal ‘Annual Account Maintenance Procedure’ Phishing Scam

by Brett M. Christensen

Outline:
Email purporting to be from the Bank of Montreal (BMO) claims that the bank is performing its annual account maintenance procedure and you must therefore click a link to login and complete the requested actions.



Brief Analysis:
The email is not from BMO and the claim that you must click a link to complete account maintenance is untrue.  The email is a phishing scam designed to steal your BMO account login details and other personal and financial information.

Example:
Subject: Important NoticeDear Customer,

BMO is performing the annual account maintenance procedure. Please login to your account and complete the requested actions.Once logged in you will be guided to the rest of the process.Log into Online Banking now to complete the maintenance.

Thank you,

Bank of Montreal

This is an automatically generated email, please do not reply to this message.




Detailed Analysis:
According to this email, which purports to be from the Bank of Montreal (BMO), you are required to complete the bank’s annual account maintenance procedure. The email asks you to click a link to login and claims that, once you have logged in, you will be guided through the rest of the maintenance procedure.

However, the email is not from BMO and the link does not go to an account maintenance procedure as claimed. In fact, the email is a phishing scam designed to steal your personal and financial information.

If you click the link as requested, you will be taken to a fraudulent website designed to closely mirror the genuine BMO login page. Once you have entered your card number and password on the fake site, you will be taken to a second fake page that features an ‘account update’ form. The bogus form asks you to supply your name and contact details, ID information, and credit card numbers. After supplying this information, you may then be redirected to the genuine BMO website.

Meanwhile, the criminals who sent out the fake email can now collect your BMO login details and the other information you supplied and, thus armed, hijack your bank account and commit credit card fraud and identity theft.

Banks and other financial institutions all around the world are regularly targeted via such phishing scams.  Be wary of any email that purports to be from your bank and claims that you must click a link or open an attached file to perform account maintenance, update details, or rectify a supposed account problem. It is always safest to access your online accounts by entering the address into your browser’s address bar rather than by clicking a link in an email.

The BMO website includes information about how to report such scam attempts.




Scam Alert Signs

Last updated: April 18, 2016
First published: April 18, 2016
By Brett M. Christensen
About Hoax-Slayer

References
Bank of Montreal ‘Customer Satisfaction Survey’ Phishing Scam
Phishing Scams – Anti-Phishing Information
BMO – Report Online Fraud

 

Importance Notice

After considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.

These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.

Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.

And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.

When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.

I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.

A Big Thank You

I would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.

I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.

Closing Date

Hoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.

Thank you, one and all!

Brett Christensen,
Hoax-Slayer