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How to stay one step ahead of scammers
Financial fraud is something we all have to watch out for. And while it’s a common occurrence, there are several ways to lower the chances of it happening. Check out these tips and tricks to learn how to help protect yourself—and stay one step ahead of scammers.
Help protect yourself from falling victim to a scam
Let’s start with the fraud basics. Financial fraud comes in many forms. Some common types include identity theft, credit card fraud and tax fraud. Knowing what to look out for can help you identify fraud if it occurs, and stop scammers in their tracks. Here’s what you can do:
Don’t trust any unsolicited calls and be sure to verify the source of anyone who claims to be calling from your bank. If you get a call from someone who says they’re from your bank, be cautious—take down their name and hang up. Check to see if it’s a legitimate call by using the bank’s established and verified number, such as the number on the back of your debit card, and ideally call from another phone line.
Your phone says the call is coming from your bank. That must mean it’s legit, right? Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Scammers often use call-spoofing tech so that your call display shows the name of a company or financial institution to make you believe they’re authentic. Be cautious and don’t assume the call is coming from a safe source.
Protecting against consumer fraud: who is it safe to share my financial information with?
To verify your identity, your bank will ask basic questions to ensure they’re speaking to the correct person.
However, they will never contact you and ask you to disclose your sensitive information. It’s important to stay cautious about sharing things such as your date of birth, address and email address. Be sure not to share account numbers, passwords and PIN numbers under any circumstances. If you feel uncomfortable with the call, like you’re being asked questions only you should know the answers to, hang up. You can also learn more about the things your bank will never ask you.
While it’s important to protect your information from potential scammers and those you don’t know, keep in mind that this should include family and friends who are not involved in your finances as well.
Extra tips for protecting yourself
Practice these fraud prevention techniques.
- Understand your responsibilities: Know what’s expected of you as an account or card holder. This information is provided by your bank and outlines your commitments.
- Enable two-factor authentication: Look at the security settings of your email provider, social media platforms, banking apps and other forms of communication. Then enable two-factor authentication wherever it’s available. This adds an additional layer of security to your account and incorporates other factors outside of your username and password, making it more difficult for hacking to occur. It’s rarely the default setting, but it can make a huge difference when it comes to protecting yourself.
- Get educated: The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) can help you learn more about common types of consumer fraud and how to avoid them.
What to do if you’ve been the victim of a scam
While staying alert is important and helps with scam prevention, fraud happens all the time. And if you do happen to get caught up in a scam, remember—it’s nothing to be ashamed of. Make sure you take these steps:
- Report it: First, you’ll want to contact your bank to alert them of the fraud. Next, you should contact the credit bureaus and have them put a freeze on your credit. Then, call the local police and the FTC: 1-877-382-4357
- Talk about it: Share your story with family and friends. The more people who know about these scams, the harder it may be for fraudsters to take advantage of others.
For more insights on protecting your finances, check out TD Bank Fraud Prevention Tips.
And just remember—openness is key when it comes to fraud protection. Reach out to friends and family and the proper authorities if you receive a request for money or personal information that you’re unsure about.
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:
- Equifax: 1-800-525-6285
- Experian: 1-888-397-3742
- TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289
More tips on financial fraud and identity theft
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