"My parents worked all their lives and put that bit away every week then left it for myself and my sister. For 50 years they saved that money and then it's gone, overnight," said Bruce Taylor, a Canadian engineer living in Texas.
Taylor's inheritance was in term deposits BMO (the Bank of Montreal) automatically deposited into a savings account when they matured, "strictly emergency money that I had left in Canada," Taylor said.
An impostor emailed Taylor's adviser at BMO in August 2013, saying the money should be wired to Taylor's cousin immediately. The email has several misspellings and grammatical errors. Transfer requests, with misspellings, were also faxed to Taylor's bank branch in Newfoundland-Labrador, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported Monday.
"I don't understand why the Bank of Montreal didn't scrutinize those faxes. You can tell they were written by someone whose first language was not English," Taylor said.
He learned of the scam while recovering from heart surgery in Texas, and spent months wrangling with the bank to replace the money after the Royal Canadian Mounted Police confirmed the bank had been duped. The bank agreed to reimburse Taylor the full amount of his loss after he threatened to publicize the incident, he added.