Tips For Fraud Protection and Protecting Your Identity

Fraud. These five letters can spell frustration for any Canadian, but there’s a lot you can do to fight back. Whether you’re at home, abroad or online, you can take practical steps to avoid fraud and protect your identity. In fact, boosting your security is easier than you might think.

Here are some simple tips that can limit your risk of being a victim of fraud.

How Can I Protect Myself?

When it comes to fraud prevention, your best form of security isn’t fancy software or an armed guard. Your best asset for preventing fraud is you. By being smart, safe and alert with your finances, you’ll be able to see issues before they happen. Here’s how:

  •   Guard your card. Play defense against prying eyes by protecting your PIN when making purchases and make a habit of changing your PIN regularly. Also, keep your card somewhere safe so it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.
  •   Stay alert at the ATM. Cover your PIN and be aware of your surroundings. Contact someone if there’s something that seems suspicious going on with the machine. Make a habit of keeping receipts from non-bank ATMs so you have physical records of these transactions.
  •   Track your transactions. When you keep an eye on your transaction history or spending activity, you can spot when something unusual (like an extra or missing transaction) has occurred with your money.
  •   Control your cash. When sending money, we recommend you use trusted money transfer services instead of sending bills.

Know What Can And Can’t Be Asked Over The Phone

It’s not uncommon to make a transaction or sort out financial matters by phone. But sometimes fraudsters will ask you questions by phone in a bid to extract sensitive information from you. Here’s what you should and shouldn’t talk about on the phone:

  •   Be careful what you reveal on the phone. Fraudsters sometimes claim to be from reputable organizations to trick you into giving away sensitive information. Remember, Revenue Canada and other financial institutions will never call you and ask for this information. They already have it available and wouldn’t ask you to reveal it over the phone.
  •   You should never give your bank account number, credit card number or other financial information over the phone unless you’ve either a) initiated the call or b) have complete confirmation of whom you are speaking to. It’s better to practice caution in these situations. And reputable financial institutions will understand why you’re playing it safe. If you encounter suspicious activity, get in touch with law enforcement as well.
  •   Beware of scams. You may be contacted and pressured into paying for a service you didn’t use. If you receive a call or email demanding payment for something like an overdue premium or a loan that you didn’t agree to, alert your financial institution.
  •   Watch out for fake insurers trying to get you to give up sensitive information. If a legitimate insurer is contacting you, they will identify themselves clearly and provide details of your insurance that you can validate.
  •   Take advantage of additional protection by using TD Insurance Identity Plus. This generous package offers you the help of skilled professionals, who will work with you until your identity is restored to pre-theft status if you encounter an identity theft issue.

Look Out For These Warning Signs

Knowing how to spot potential fraud is the most important tool in your fraud prevention kit. If you notice any of these unusual activities, consider reaching out to TD fraud protection.

  •   Your bank statement, online activity or passbook reveals transactions that you don’t recognize. This can be a major red flag for identity theft.
  •   You’ve been contacted by a creditor about a credit card application received in your name that you did not complete.
  •   Your credit card, bank or other billing statements feature a name that does not belong to you or your account.
  •   You notice your mail is no longer being delivered to your address.
  •   Your credit card, chequebook or passbook goes missing.

For increased protection against fraud and to learn more about identity theft, see our TD Insurance Identity Plus protection package.