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-TD Canada Trust poll reveals British Columbians more savvy than last year, but
there's still room for improvement -


VANCOUVER, Feb. 23 /CNW/ - From shielding their PINs to staying away from unfamiliar ATMs, British Columbians are doing more to protect themselves from fraud, according to the TD Canada Trust Fraud Prevention Month Poll. Compared to 2010, an increasing number of B.C. residents say they shield their PINs (77% vs. 57% in 2010) and never give out their credit card numbers over the phone (50% vs. 23% in 2010). B.C. residents are also the most likely in the country to say they stay away from unfamiliar ATMs (66% vs. 58% nationally).

"It's encouraging to see that B.C. residents are taking more steps now to avoid being victims of fraud, but we want to remind them to continue to remain diligent and protect themselves," says Justin Hwang, Associate Vice President, Fraud Management, TD Canada Trust. "Financial institutions have tools and information available to help protect B.C. residents and combat fraud, but the vast majority of fraud can be avoided if people are proactive and follow some simple tips, such as shielding their PIN and being careful with their personal information."

The TD Canada Trust Fraud Prevention Month Poll also revealed that British Columbians are engaging less in risky behaviour that makes them vulnerable to fraud compared to last year. Only 9% of those surveyed have ever sent credit card account information through an email, down from 27% in 2010. Alarmingly, some are still engaging in risky behaviour: 16% admit to carrying their debit PIN in their wallet (vs. 9% in 2010).

British Columbians are still concerned about fraud in general (81% vs. 82% in 2010). This year, B.C. residents were also asked about two other types of fraud - phishing and vishing. Six out of ten British Columbians are concerned about being a victim of phishing (64%) or vishing (61%), two scams which trick consumers into providing personal information, either electronically or over the phone, which is then used to commit fraud.

"Criminals are always trying to stay a step ahead and develop new scams, so it's extremely important for British Columbians to be aware of new threats as they appear," says Hwang. "These days, it's easy to fall for a sophisticated phishing scheme. Just remember, that your bank will never ask you for personal information over email, and if you're ever unsure about an email you receive or a website you enter, err on the side of caution and contact your bank immediately."

In support of Fraud Prevention Month, TD Canada Trust developed the following quiz to help British Columbians determine how fraud savvy they are and learn what they can do to help protect themselves.

For more information on fraud prevention from TD Canada Trust, visit


1. True or False: It's a good idea to give your debit and credit card PIN numbers to your close family and friends.

False: You should not let anyone else know or use your PIN (Personal Identification Number), including family and friends. Avoid writing it down or carrying it in your wallet. No one but you should know your PIN - not even your bank.

2. True or False: Wi-Fi networks, like those found in coffee shops and hotel lobbies, are always completely safe for you to use.

False: You need to use caution when using unsecure Wi-Fi networks. If you're on an unsecured network, Wi-Fi bandits could try to hack into your laptop or cell phone to steal your online banking passwords, copy your contacts from email programs, or even download illegal files.

3. True or False: When shopping online, there are simple clues to figure out whether or not a website is safe.

True: To see if a site is secure, check the lower corner of your browser window for a padlock or key icon whenever you're on a screen that sends personal information or credit card numbers. If the padlock is closed or the key is intact, security technology will scramble your credit card number and personal information as it's being transmitted to the merchant. As well, the secure website address will begins with "https://".

4. True or False: Now that I have CHIP enabled debit and credit cards, I don't need to protect my PIN.

False: When conducting any transaction at an ATM or making a purchase, always shield the keypad when you enter your PIN

5. True or False: If your bank needs to contact you, they will email you and ask you for your account information.

False: Your bank will never contact you by email asking for account information. If you are have been emailed for this information then you have likely been "phished." Phishing refers to an online scam that seeks out personal financial information from people who believe they are sharing their information with a legitimate website or organization.

6. True or False: When making a debit transaction, if the keypad doesn't stretch far enough, it's ok to give your card to the salesperson so that they can enter your PIN for you.

False: When making a debit transaction, never allow the merchant to take your card out of sight. It takes only seconds for fraudsters to reproduce your card. A false card combined with your PIN can provide a criminal access to your bank account.

7. True or False: If I am a victim of debit or credit card fraud, I can get my money back.

True: Canadian cardholders are protected. Visa cardholders are protected through the Visa Zero Liability Policy, which means they are not responsible for fraudulent or unauthorized charges on their Visa account. Victims of debit card fraud are protected by the Canadian Code of Practice for Consumer Debit Card Services and are reimbursed by their financial institutions.

About the 2011 TD Canada Trust Fraud Prevention Month Poll

Results were collected through Environics' national telephone omnibus between February 1 to 3, 2011. A total of 1,001 interviews were completed, including 125 in British Columbia.

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 sixth largest bank in North America by branches and serves approximately 19 million customers in four key businesses operating in a number of locations in key financial centres around the globe: Canadian Personal and Commercial Banking, including TD Canada Trust and TD Insurance; Wealth Management, including TD Waterhouse and an investment in TD Ameritrade; U.S. Personal and Commercial Banking, including TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank; and Wholesale Banking, including TD Securities. TD also ranks among the world's leading online financial services firms, with more than 6 million online customers. TD had CDN$620 billion in assets on October 31, 2010. The Toronto-Dominion Bank trades under the symbol "TD" on the Toronto and New York Stock Exchanges.

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