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Privacy and Security

Avoiding telemarketing scams

According to the federal government, telemarketing fraud costs Canadians more than $100 million every year. While telemarketing is a legitimate sales tool for many companies, including TD Bank Financial Group, criminals may use it to deceive you with tempting but phony offers. Your best defence is to learn to recognize this type of fraud and take a few simple steps to protect yourself in these scenarios.

Telemarketing fraud occurs when criminals – posing as legitimate businesses, charities or causes – call people with phony offers in an attempt to defraud them. For example, a fraudulent telemarketer may try to pressure you into sending money for a special offer, deal, prize or lottery that you have supposedly won, or ask you to provide personal information like your credit card numbers.

These strategies will help you stay safe from telemarketing scams.

Know who you’re dealing with

  • Verify who the company is, where they’re located, etc. Ask questions and get a call-back number. If your questions are being avoided or not answered to your satisfaction, you should be cautious. Legitimate companies will give you an opportunity to check them out or think about an offer.
  • Never provide your account number, credit card number or other financial information over the phone unless you initiated the call or have validated who you’re talking to within the company. No one should ever request personal banking information from you over the phone. If anyone asks you for this information, alert the police and your financial institutions immediately.

Don’t be pressured into a decision

  • Take the time to do your homework. Don’t invest or buy a product or service without fully understanding what it is and verifying whether it is legitimate.
  • Never send money to take advantage of a special offer, prize or deal. There’s a good chance you won’t get any of these things – or see your money again.
  • Think twice about sending cash. According to law enforcement agencies, criminal telemarketers often ask you to send cash or a money order, rather than provide a cheque or credit card number. If you’re asked to send payment by wire or courier, it could be a scam.
  • If the offer sounds too good to be true (e.g., “call now and receive a free trip”), chances are that it is.

Keep records

  • Record the name, address and phone number of the person or company making the call. If you do purchase an item, record the date of the transaction and the delivery date that is promised.

Numerous organizations are taking part in the war against fraud.