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Fraud Latesthews
• Jul 17, 2020

Protect yourself by learning more about the most common scams

The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed the lives of millions, as the world continues to come together to combat the spread of the virus. But it's also critical for everyone to be informed and aware about the increasing potential for financial fraudsters exploiting the situation.

Americans have lost an estimated $86 million to fraud tied to COVID-19, a recent report from the Federal Trade Commission stated.


But that number could be much higher as some people don't report fraud because they're embarrassed that they've been a victim of a scam or even because the fraud is still undetected, said Krista Wrona, TD Bank's Head of Policy, Governance and Training, Fraud Risk Management.

"These fraudsters have been very active, taking advantage of this time and advantage of trusting people," Wrona said. "It's important for people to know some of the most common scams currently taking place, so they can be on alert during a very uncertain time."

TD Bank is working diligently to secure its customers' financial information and is cooperating with officials both inside the financial industry and law enforcement to prevent fraud.

But there are common frauds happening that you should be aware of.

Unemployment scams

As unemployment numbers reach historic highs in this country, millions of Americans are out of work and need government assistance to continue to provide for their families.

One way in which fraudsters are gaming the system is by applying for unemployment benefits through other people's names and information.

These people often steal information by reaching out to those who are vulnerable, asking them for sensitive information.

If anyone calls or texts you and asks for your birth date, Social Security number or maiden name, know that they are not representatives of TD Bank, the government or any other credible institution.

"We live in a time when protecting customers' assets and personal information with minimal interruption is paramount to our success," said Anne Curtis, Head of US Fraud Management. "TD Bank's Fraud Department works around the clock to protect customers' personal and financial information. And while we may reach out to our customers to confirm transactional activity, we want them to be careful since scammers can use phone calls, texts, and emails to obtain confidential information."

What will a legitimate call from TD Bank entail?

At TD Bank, customers' privacy and the security of their accounts are very important.

TD and its trusted colleagues will never ask you to confirm your account number, PIN, password, or personal information via email or over the phone.

"We will on no occasion call requiring or pressuring you to give your personal information to a TD employee," Anne explained. "In times like these, it’s important to not share personal information with anyone to minimize the risk of information getting into the wrong person's hands."

Stimulus checks and a potential second wave

In addition to unemployment, the American government sent out billions in stimulus checks based on eligibility back in April, and there's talk of more funds being sent out to those who need it most.

Another scam has been under the guise of bank or government personnel reaching out to help people get their checks faster.

Once again, TD Bank colleagues and government agents will never call you, ask for your information under the veneer that they are trying to get your funds expedited.

If someone calls you offering up a service like this, do not reveal anything personal, even innocuous information like your address or middle name.

Credit card fraud and theft


As consumers, each of us play a critical role in identifying and preventing fraud.

Credit card fraud and theft is one of the oldest scams in the books. Customers should monitor their statements, online accounts or banking apps daily.

Regularly checking your account transactions is an easy way to proactively identify suspicious activity. TD Bank also routinely monitors accounts for unusual activity and may use text messages to communicate with our customers.

"We recommend signing up for TD fraud alert services, in order to receive text messages that will alert you right away if suspicious activity is detected on your credit or debit card," Anne said.

Phishing scams

In addition to calls and texts, you may receive an email from what looks to be a legitimate source claiming to help you with your stimulus, a loan or a wire transfer.

Be careful, as authorities have started to see an uptick in phishing emails that are sent out in hopes you click on the links within the body of the message.

The goal of the fraudster is to use these links to obtain private information or even corrupt your computer with malware.

If these messages are unsolicited, in no uncertain terms should you click on the link.

How you can contact TD if you're concerned about suspicious activity on your account?

If you identify fraudulent activity on your bank account, notify TD Bank by calling 888-751-9000. Please note during this time, there are significantly longer than normal waiting times because of COVID-19 Store closures, so we thank you in advanced for your patience.

What are other resources to find out more information?

Want to learn more about COVID-19?
Debunking Homebuying Myths and Investigating How COVID-19 Has Changed the Housing Market
COVID-19 Leaves Most Millennials Strapped for Cash, TD Bank Survey Finds
New TD Bank Survey Reveals 59% Not Saving Money Amid COVID-19

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