Financial scams and identity fraud come in many forms—as text messages, emails or phone calls—and let’s be honest, they’re a real pain. Many times, they’re designed to look like they’re coming from your bank, which can be especially frustrating. This can include fraudulent emails claiming your account is frozen and links to fake websites asking for personal info. It can also take on more extreme forms, like having fraudsters pose as bank employees. But don’t worry—you can learn how to identify the types of fraud and save yourself from being a victim.
The goal of these financial scams is often to steal personal banking info, gain access to your account, get you to wire money, purchase gift cards or send money to the scammer.
While your bank does often require you to disclose certain personal information in order to confirm your identity, there are strict rules designed to keep you safe. Learn how to avoid falling victim to scams by knowing what your bank would never ask you to do.
1) Fraud alert tip: your bank will never call to ask for personal information.
Picture this scenario: you call your bank to ask a question or get help with a bank transaction. Then, the employee asks you some personal details to confirm your identity. Nothing out of the ordinary, right?
Now, picture this: your bank calls you to ask for personal information. If this seems like a red flag to you, good catch. It’s a common tactic used by identity thieves. So, if someone calls you claiming to be from your bank and asks you to provide personal or account information (or even usernames and passwords), hang up. Then call your bank at the number on the back of your debit or credit card—preferably from a different phone line just to be safe. Don’t call back any number provided by the person who called you originally.
2) Fraud alert tip: your bank will never ask you to keep a secret or be dishonest.
Scammers may trick you into giving them money through wire transfers, money-transferring apps or gift cards. They may want you not to tell the bank the reason for the transaction. Sometimes, fraudsters even take this to the next level by providing you phony cover stories, like saying the money is for a family member overseas. Remember: being honest with your real bank is key. They’re there to help you with fraud protection.
3) Fraud alert tip: your bank will never threaten to cancel your services.
Watch out for texts or emails that claim your account is locked, or that threaten to close your account unless you click a link and provide account details. This is a common tactic of scammers and just know, your bank would never threaten to cancel your services.
4) Fraud alert tip: your bank won't try to rush you into doing something
Does a message seem pushy? Red alert! Banks aren’t in the business of rushing you, so this may also be a scam. If you get a message that looks like it’s from your bank, includes a link or prompts you to take immediate action, call the number on the back of your debit or credit card to verify that the message is legit. One extra tip? If there’s a specified period of time attached to an action, that’s a major red flag that it may be bank fraud.
5) Fraud alert tip: your bank won’t ask you to help with an investigation.
One of the more common scams is known as the “Bank Investigator Scam,” which typically involves a phone call from a fraudster posing as an employee in the fraud department at a bank. The scammer often provides a fake name and “employee number.” They may say your accounts have been compromised or that the bank is investigating a series of fraud cases committed by staff at the bank. Then, they may try to pull you in by asking you to join the investigation—and asking you to keep this info confidential.
Sometimes, they may even offer compensation. Another sign that something’s off. Being asked for bank info to help with the “investigation” is a scheme to remotely gain access to your accounts. You may even see money deposited into your account—but stay on the lookout. This is often the scammer moving funds from other accounts or from your credit cards.
6) Fraud alert tip: your bank won't ask you to transfer money as part of an investigation.
In a number of scams, the goal of the fraudster is to get the victim to wire or transfer money. Remember that your financial institution will never ask you to withdraw money or perform any financial transaction to help in a fraud or internal investigation of any kind. Unfortunately, once money is sent, there is a limited amount of time in which the wire or transfer can be canceled, and you may not be able to get it back.
7) Fraud alert tip: your bank will never deposit money from your lines of credit without your knowledge.
In many scams, a fraudster will pose as a friend or family member. Sometimes, they’ll use a hacked or compromised email account and ask you to purchase gift cards, usually claiming they need help getting out of a made-up situation..
This scam can involve depositing money into your account, with fraudulent check or cash advances from your own lines of credit. Your bank won’t initiate this type of activity without your permission, so be sure to keep an eye on your accounts. Once money is deposited, a scammer will then ask you to buy gift cards and share the card numbers. Since gift cards are used like cash, it’s unlikely you’ll ever get your money back after you purchase them. Trust your gut. If something feels fishy, it’s likely a con.
8) Fraud alert tip: your bank will never request access to your computer.
Always know, your bank will never ask you for remote access to your device. If you receive a call from someone who says they’re from your bank and they need you to download software, hang up the phone and contact your bank immediately, using a phone number you know is an official bank number.
Staying on the lookout for these scenarios can help you protect yourself from financial fraud. And if you do happen to fall victim to a bank scam, don’t panic. There are steps you can take to get back on track.
How to report fraud and identity theft to TD Bank
If you think your TD accounts or cards have been compromised, visit our Security Center to learn how to report the fraud and contact us for help right away.
- Lock your credit and debit cards
- Report a lost or stolen card:
- TD Bank ATM or Visa® Debit Card: 1-888-751-9000
- TD Bank Visa® Credit Card: 1-888-561-8861
- Report identity theft or a phishing attempt: 1-800-893-8554
- Forward suspicious emails to: Phishing@TD.com
- Contact your local police department or call The Federal Trade Commission (FTC): 1-877-382-4357
- Report fraud to the credit bureaus: