Couple 'appalled' by RBC's response after fraudster spent $6K on their credit card

A fraudster in Texas used a credit card with Joyce Taylor's name on it and racked up almost $6,200 in charges. The Yellowknife couple wants to know how it happened.

Bob and Joyce Taylor say they want to know how someone in Texas used the card with their name on it

Bob and Joyce Taylor are shown outside their home. They say a fraudster used a supplementary credit card they didn't sign up for and spent $6,200. (Submitted by Bob Taylor)

A couple in Yellowknife say they are "appalled" by Royal Bank's response after a fraudster used a credit card with Joyce Taylor's name on it and racked up almost $6,200 in charges.

A credit machine at Canadian Tire recently declined Taylor's WestJet RBC credit card. When she and her husband, Bob Taylor, called RBC about the issue, the bank said a fraudster in Texas used a supplementary card — a second card connected to the main account — for the fraudulent purchases.  

RBC said the couple had checked off a box asking for the extra card when they first applied for the credit card three years ago. The second card was activated at that time.

Joyce Taylor claims she doesn't remember checking the box, and never received a physical copy of the second card. There had been no activity on it before last week, she said.

"How did this happen?" Bob Taylor asked. "This card was not even in circulation, how could they possibly get that information?"

Taylor says he's frustrated the bank isn't doing more to find out what went wrong, even though he isn't on the hook for the charges.

"[RBC's] attitude is ... that it's their problem and they're just going to write that off," he said.

"But from my perspective, someone's used my identity and somehow gotten this card number," he said. "This is a big concern, maybe it isn't for most people, but to my wife and I, it's huge."
Bob Taylor says the Royal Bank of Canada is not treating him with 'compassion' in his situation. (Mark Blinch/Reuters)

This isn't the first time the couple have been victims of identity theft.

Over a decade ago, more than $200,000 was stolen from their brokerage account and Bob Taylor's identity was recreated in New Zealand.

"We've been able to recover since 2004, but what initially went through my mind was 'I don't want to lose everything again,'" he said. "I'm 58, I can't do this again."

'Wiping their hands of it'

RBC sent a written statement to CBC News saying it resolved the issue and isn't investigating further. 

"Regarding his concerns about identity theft, we have advised that he contact the credit bureaus to determine if any other credit cards were applied for using his name and information and continue to review account statements to detect any unusual activity on his accounts," the statement said.

Bob Taylor says these measures aren't enough.

"They're just wiping their hands of it," he said. "I'm thinking, shouldn't this be their responsibility?"

"There was no compassion about the situation I'm facing," he said. "For a big organization to treat people like that, I'm appalled."

Bob Taylor fears his identity may be compromised again.

"If WestJet wasn't using [RBC] for their credit card I would never deal with them again. It's not a way to deal with clients."

'Really, really odd' situation

The situation with the Taylor's supplementary credit card is unusual, said Kelley Keehn, a consumer advocate with the Financial Planning Standards Council, the professional organization for financial planners in Canada.  

"It's odd that all of a sudden now, in 2017, someone is just using the card, that sounds really, really odd," she said.

As past victims of identity theft, Keehn says they could potentially be targets for the rest of their lives.

"They need to be checking their credit regularly, putting fraud alerts on their account, maybe consider even having identity theft insurance," she said.

Keehn says regularly checking mail and bank statements, and making sure there is a correct address connected to an online account can help prevent identity theft.

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