Quebecers are forced to pay themselves to protect themselves from fraud and fraud on their bank accounts.
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Take the example of National Bank’s SecuriZone program. For $5.95 a month, customers can get “telephone advisory services for identity theft and fraud prevention.”
The monthly package also includes “assistance in case of lost or stolen wallet”.
“It’s ridiculous. They force you to pay for a service they’re supposed to provide,” says fraud expert Simon Marchand.
But the most alarming company, he says, is Equifax, which “lost the data of many North Americans in a massive leak in 2019.”
BNC also offers two other Sécurizone packages: one for $9.95 per month, in partnership with… Equifax, and another for $17.95 per month. It offers “maximum tools and services”.
“It’s like paying $5.95 a month to keep the airbags in your new car working,” said Mr. Marchand explained.
“We are the product”
SecuriZone is not a protection or insurance service, BNC says. This is an additional support service.
“The program provides tools and services for prevention, mitigation and support for identity theft,” a spokesperson said.
Neither TD nor BMO nor Scotia nor CIBC charge their customers for this type of service.
“Even the Royal Bank doesn’t try to capitalize on public fear,” says Simon Marchand.
RBC is the largest bank in Canada with a capitalization of $163 billion.
At Desjardins, since the big data leak was revealed in June 2019, protection against fraud and identity theft has been free.
A fraud expert believes that such a service is free.
That’s because it’s Equifax, known for its cybersecurity flaws, that’s behind the service.
“It’s questionable that they’re asking to pay to keep the information from being misused,” the expert said.
For $24.95 a month to people in Quebec, Equifax has a business model that “based on virtually everyone’s records without their express consent.”
“We are the product and the customer,” explains Simon Marchand.