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To hinder swindlers, TD fraud expert says awareness is key as Canadians report being most frequently targeted by phone, email and text message
More than half of all Canadians (51%) surveyed say they do not talk about fraud prevention and protection with people they know
TORONTO, March 7, 2022 /CNW/ - A new survey released by TD Bank Group for this year's Fraud Prevention Month reveals four-in-ten Canadians polled (37%) have been targeted by fraudsters in the last year, with most fraud attempts happening over the phone (64%), followed by emails and text messages (58%).
One-in-four Canadians surveyed (26%) say they have received investment advice online from people they do not personally know, including via social media and/or direct messaging platforms. TD fraud expert, Sophia Leung, Head of Protect Platform, which oversees fraud strategy and cyber-threat management, advises people to research information sources extensively before making an investment decision that might lead to major financial loss due to fraud.
"Investment scams can have a huge impact on victims where they are misled into giving large sums of money, at times almost their entire life-savings, toward phony investments opportunities," says Leung. "Canadians should continue to exercise caution when receiving investment advice from people they don't know, especially as reliance on technology and communication devices continues."
According to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, Canadians lost a combined total of $163.9 million to investment scams in 2021 making it the costliest reported scam in the country during that time period.i
Raising awareness through conversations
The TD survey found that 52% of Canadians feel vulnerable to fraud, with eight in ten (82%) believing that increased online activity heightens risk. However, 51% of Canadians say discussions around fraud risks and fraud prevention do not come up in conversations with people they know, including friends and loved ones.
"Fraudsters will continue to adapt and evolve their tactics, so it's important to continue to educate and learn about the best ways to protect against fraud and help avoid financial loss," says Leung. "By regularly sharing and discussing more openly about our experiences of receiving fraudulent calls or messages, we can help people to be more aware of the scams that are out there, especially when the conversations happen with people we trust."
For Canadians looking to better protect themselves and their loved ones from financial fraud, TD recommends the following tips and advice:
- Verify if a request is legitimate – If you receive a phone call claiming to be from a government agency/financial institution requesting confidential information, your participation in an investigation, or explicitly asking for you to lie to your friends, family or others, it could be fraud. When in doubt, hang-up and dial the number on the back of your debit/credit card or visit the organization's website to find authentic contact information.
- Practise skepticism – Approach unsolicited advice with suspicion and take your time to research sources, including checking business and professional licence registration, before making a financial decision, especially if you are feeling pressure to do so in a hurry. Be sure not to open links from email addresses and phone numbers you do not recognize.
- Have conversations with family and friends – If you receive fraudulent phone calls or messages, talk about it. Help protect others by sharing your experiences of encountering fraud to educate and raise awareness. Be sure to also read and share TD fraud resources and advice to help keep you and your family safe and informed.
- Pay attention to your fraud alerts – By using free services like TD Fraud Alerts, you'll receive text messages to notify you of suspicious activity on your personal banking accounts.
- Lock or block your credit card when required – Manage your card by using the TD app to lock a misplaced credit card, or block international in-person purchases when you're not travelling outside of Canada.
- Protect your PIN and passwords – The only person who should know your passwords and PIN is you, not even your family members. Your bank would never ask you for this information. Don't ever give out personal confidential information or account/login credentials to a third party, whether in person, over the phone or online.
- Check your statements, online accounts and banking apps regularly – Taking these steps will help alert you more quickly to fraudulent transactions. Money management apps, like the TD MySpend app, can be helpful tools and provide notifications of spending transactions in real-time, making it easier for you to recognize fraudulent transactions fast.
About the TD Fraud Survey
TD Bank Group commissioned Ipsos to conduct a national online survey of 1,001 Canadians aged 18 years and older. Responses were collected between February 4 and 7, 2022. The poll is accurate to within ±3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
About TD Bank Group
The Toronto-Dominion Bank and its subsidiaries are collectively known as TD Bank Group ("TD" or the "Bank"). TD is the fifth largest bank in North America by assets and serves more than 26 million customers in three key businesses operating in a number of locations in financial centers around the globe: Canadian Retail, including TD Canada Trust, TD Auto Finance Canada, TD Wealth (Canada), TD Direct Investing, and TD Insurance; U.S. Retail, including TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank®, TD Auto Finance U.S., TD Wealth (U.S.), and an investment in The Charles Schwab Corporation; and Wholesale Banking, including TD Securities. TD also ranks among the world's leading online financial services firms, with more than 15 million active online and mobile customers. TD had CDN$1.8 trillion in assets on January 31, 2022. The Toronto-Dominion Bank trades under the symbol "TD" on the Toronto and New York Stock Exchanges
SOURCE TD Bank Group
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