BMO Harris Warning
For the past 7 years I haven't had any problems with the account and have been using it extensively in Thailand for the past 4 years.
Today, however, my debit card was blocked and after I spoke with the customer service they also promptly restricted my access to online banking.
I was told that I needed to call a branch to resolve this issue. The branch told me there is no other way to resolve this, but to come in person to verify my identity. Called again the phone help and still no help whatsoever.
So, in a nutshell, to access my money (there is around 30k in the account) I need to take a trip from Thailand, back to Canada and then go to Chicago to "verify my identity".
This is going to cost me a lot of money and time and I will be promptly closing my account.
It is important to note that I checked my account literally 5 minutes before they shut it down and everything looked absolutely normal. I haven't done anything out of the ordinary than what I normally do.
The problem with me going back is not just the time and money this is going to cost me, but also the potential issues at the border. I mean, what am I supposed to say to the customs officer? I am going to USA to unblock my account? They will certainly look at me like a suspect. I am also worried that at the branch they may look at my passport and documents and say this is not sufficient. Yes, after this I am extremely paranoid now. I did nothing wrong and I feel extremely dirty. Does this bank not have a fraud team that can check your information over the phone? What are the security questions for?
I am sure that most accounts with BMO Harris are fine, but if there is a problem be prepared to travel to USA.