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Nearly 1 in 3 surveyed Canadians report having been victimized by financial fraudsters

  • Majority of fraud victims (83 per cent) report losing up to $5,000
  • Fifty-nine per cent feel confident in their ability to keep their finances protected from fraudsters but are less confident in the ability of their loved ones to do the same
  • Forty-one per cent write their passwords down in a notebook or store them on their phone

TORONTO, March 5, 2019 /CNW/ - Financial fraud continues to impact Canadians, and as technologies become integrated into everyday life, fraudsters are targeting Canadians in new ways. According to a recent TD Fraud survey, nearly one in three Canadians report having been personally victimized by financial fraud, with most individuals (83 per cent) losing up to $5,000.

Financial fraud leaves Canadians feeling concerned, both for themselves and for their loved ones. Nearly six in 10 (59 per cent) of survey respondents claim to be confident in their own ability to keep their finances protected from fraudsters but worry that older family members lack the same fraud savviness. Despite these concerns, less than half (45 per cent) of respondents reported having had a conversation with their older family members about financial fraud.

"Fraud doesn't discriminate – attacks can happen to anyone, through any channel, including phone, text and email, at any time," said Tammy McKinnon, Head of Financial Crimes and Fraud Management Group, TD Bank Group. "As scams continue to evolve, it's important that we encourage conversations that increase Canadians' knowledge and understanding of financial fraud and help equip our loved ones with the right information to prevent it from happening."

When asked what concerned them most about financial fraud, nearly half of seniors (45 per cent) responded that their biggest worry was becoming a victim of identity theft. In contrast, millennials shared that having their money stolen was their top concern (39 per cent).

Though financial fraud attacks are becoming more sophisticated, the good news is that over two-thirds (69 per cent) of Canadians are actively taking measures to protect themselves and are adopting digital tools to combat technology-based frauds. Measures taken include:

  • Reviewing bank account statements often (79 per cent)
  • Not sharing passwords or PINs with anyone (79 per cent)
  • Not clicking on links, calling unknown phone numbers or taking any requested action for personal or financial information until they have verified it comes from a legitimate source (73 per cent)
  • Signing up for text message fraud alerts from their bank (41 per cent)
  • Enabling two-factor authentication for added security (40 per cent)

Despite taking these steps to protect themselves, the survey found that four in 10 Canadians (41 per cent) are still committing fraud faux-pas, such as writing their passwords down in a notebook or storing them on their phone.

"Our survey found that only a fraction (18 per cent) of Canadians consider themselves very savvy when it comes to being able to identify and detect financial fraud," said McKinnon. "Fraud Prevention Month offers a good opportunity to arm Canadians with information and reinforce resources to help them feel confident in spotting, avoiding and reporting financial fraud."

For Canadians looking to learn how to help protect themselves and their loved ones avoid falling victim to fraud, TD offers the following tips and advice:

  • Pay attention to your fraud alerts – Banks are now using text messaging to communicate with their customers. By signing up for services like TD Fraud Alerts, you can receive texts that will notify you if TD detects suspicious activity made with your personal banking accounts – available at no cost.
  • Have conversations with family and friends – Seniors are increasingly being targeted by financial fraudsters. Help protect your family members by educating them on the most common scams, such as emergency scams that attempt to coerce grandparents into sending money to their grandchild in a foreign country, or romance scams that use legitimate dating websites to extort money from someone looking for companionship.
  • Protect your PIN – The only person who should know your PIN is you – not even your bank should know it. Don't ever give out your PIN, whether in person, over the phone, online or by mail.
  • Be cautious and verify if the request is real – If you receive an email from a relative asking for funds because they're in trouble overseas, or if you receive an unexpected and too-good-to-be-true cheque, chances are it's fraud. Take some time to do a little research to verify if it's real – it's always important to know who you're doing business with.
  • Check your statements, online accounts or banking apps regularly – Taking these steps will help alert you to fraudulent transactions faster. Money management apps, like the TD MySpend app, can be a helpful tool and provide notifications of spend transactions in real-time, which helps make it easy for customers to recognize a fraudulent transaction quickly.

About the TD Fraud Survey
TD Bank Group commissioned Environics Research Group to conduct a national online survey of 1,432 Canadians aged 18 years and older. Responses were collected between February 1-6, 2019.

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 more than 25 million customers in three key businesses operating in a number of locations in financial centres 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 TD Ameritrade; and Wholesale Banking, including TD Securities. TD also ranks among the world's leading online financial services firms, with more than 12 million active online and mobile customers. TD had $1.3 trillion in assets on January 31, 2019. 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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