The COVID -19 pandemic has transformed the lives of millions, as the world unites to combat the spread of the virus. But it's also critical for all of us to be informed and aware about the increasing potential for financial fraudsters to exploit the situation.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) are among the many government agencies that have strongly advocated for increased awareness about fraud during this vulnerable time.
"Whenever this is a domestic or global emergency, the fraudsters come out," said Allen Love, TD's Head of Fraud Risk Management (FRM) & Global Security Investigations (GSI). "From a banking perspective, people need to be aware of many potential fraud scenarios. For example, phishing emails that request money for a donation for a cure for COVID-19."
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.
"We live in a time when protecting customers' assets and personal information with minimal interruption is paramount to our success," said Anne Curtis, Interim 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."
This pandemic has brought about unique changes not seen in our lifetimes, such as the need for social distancing and most states declaring "Stay-at-Home" regulations that have impacted nearly every institution, including banks. This has caused some people to turn to online banking either more frequently or for the first time.
How we can protect ourselves against fraud
The best way to help protect yourself against fraud is to always be aware of anything involving your personal financial information. We've included a few general tips to help provide you with the knowledge you need on fraud protection.
How can I be sure if I get a call or email from TD Bank, it's legitimate?
At TD Bank, customers' privacy and the security of their accounts are very important to us. TD 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."
Your privacy and the security of your accounts are very important to us.
If I have a TD credit card, how can I be sure unauthorized people are not using it?
As consumers, each of us play a critical role in identifying and preventing fraud. We encourage customers to 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.
I've always been a bit leery about doing my banking online. How can I be sure it's safe?
We remain diligent in keeping our customers safe and are continually working to improve our ability to detect and deter fraud. TD Bank is focused on providing legendary service to our customers, in person, at Stores and online by staying vigilant in identifying and preventing fraud, Anne said.
How can I contact TD if I am concerned about suspicious activity on my accounts?
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?