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Ways to protect yourself from common frauds and scams
While we make every effort to secure your personal information, there's plenty you can do to avoid falling prey to fraud and identity theft. Through awareness and good online habits, you can significantly reduce your risk of fraud and identity theft.
Learn about different types of fraud and scams
Recognize the signs and tactics of fraud and how you can protect yourself.
Identity theft occurs when someone uses your personal information without your knowledge or consent to commit fraud, such as opening a bank account or applying for credit in your name.
- Be cautious whenever someone requests your personal information. It helps to know the things TD Bank would never ask you.
- Think before posting any personal information online, including on social media.
- Store important documents safely and securely, such as your Social Insurance Number, birth certificate and passport.
Phishing, smishing, and vishing
Fraudulent emails or fake websites (phishing), SMS text messages (smishing) and phone calls (vishing) all share the same intention: to steal your personal information.
Be cautious when you receive unsolicited emails or messages.
Do not click on suspicious links in emails or texts, or on social media.
Do not respond to unsolicited emails that seem suspicious.
Be sure to use multi-factor authentication when available on devices and platforms.
Investment scams are attempts to defraud you by convincing you to invest in fake or deceptive investment opportunities. These opportunities often promise high rewards with minimal risk.
If something sounds too good to be true, it likely is.
Investment scams often ask you to act urgently and make a hurried decision. Be diligent and research investment opportunities carefully before acting.
Always be cautious of unsolicited investment advice, even if it’s coming from someone you know.
Romance and online scams
Fraudsters can make romantic gestures with the intention of asking for money or stealing personal information. These types of scams can originate on dating websites as well as social media.
Be suspicious of someone who professes their affection for you in a short period of time or avoids meeting in person.
Be cautious if you are asked for money, or personal or financial information, especially if you have not met in person.
Other types of risks
Card fraud occurs when a fraudster uses your card or card details without your knowledge or consent, typically to make purchases.
- Your credit card and debit card should always be in your possession or locked away in a secure location.
- Never provide your PIN or password to anyone.
- When making a purchase online, shop with well-established and familiar retailers.
Cheque fraud happens when a fraudster alters legitimate cheques or falsifies cheques to gain access to your money. Learn to recognize it to better protect yourself.
- Always keep your cheques in a secure location.
- Destroy any unused cheques from closed accounts.
- Check your account statements regularly to ensure there are no unauthorized transactions.
Tax scams are when a fraudster impersonates a government agency such as the Canada Revenue Agency. These scams may include threats of arrest or legal action to gain personal information, or to convince you to send money.
- If you receive a call or SMS text message from someone claiming to be from a government agency, do not provide any personal or financial information. Instead, hang up and contact the agency using their official public phone number.
- The CRA will never call you threatening you with arrest.
- The CRA will never text you with a link to claim your refund.
- The CRA will never ask for payment through cryptocurrency or giftcards.
The bank investigator scam is when a fraudster impersonates a bank employee to ask you to assist in an investigation. While this scam can take many forms, typically the end goal is to get you to send money to the fraudster.
- If you receive a call from someone who says they're from your bank, take down their name and hang up. Call the bank back using the bank's public phone number.
- TD Bank will never ask you to disclose your passwords or PIN over the phone.
- TD Bank will never request your assistance with an undercover investigation.
A job scam is when a fraudster poses as an employer and offers you fake employment with the goal of getting your personal information or money. There are some typical things to look out for.
- Be cautious about unsolicited job offers through text or email with promises of making “easy money.”
- A job should never require you to use your personal bank account or credit products as a form of transferring money to another party.
- Be wary of anyone who offers a job strictly over email or text, or an employer with an overly simple interview process.
- Research the company that you are applying to before applying or providing any personal information.
This scam often begins with a phone call from someone impersonating a loved one. The way it commonly works is that the fraudster claims they are in trouble and asks you to send funds with great urgency.
- Refrain from acting in the moment. Pause to verify the caller by asking questions that only the real person would be able to answer.
- Call or message someone closest to the person calling you to verify the story.
- Ask yourself if the person on the phone is sounding and behaving like the person you know.
The one-time password (OTP) scam is when a fraudster calls you while impersonating your bank, asking for a one-time password which has been texted to your phone. Meanwhile, the fraudster is the one trying to access your account and needs the one-time password to successfully login.
- Never provide any of your passwords or PIN to anyone.
- TD Bank will never contact you asking for your password or PIN.
- TD Bank will never ask for remote access to your personal device.
Additional fraud resources
You can explore these resources to learn more about fraud prevention.