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• Dec 9, 2020

The upcoming 2020 holiday season is going to be quite different compared with previous years, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In spite of the changes, you still need to always be aware of fraud, whether you are at home buying gifts online from your couch or shopping in person.

Krista Wrona, Head of Policy Governance and Training for Fraud Risk Management at TD hopes to keep you safe this holiday season by sharing the following information.

"It easy to get caught up in the holiday spirit since it is such a busy time," Krista said. "But by keeping in mind the tips below, you will certainly reduce the risk of being a victim this season."

Online shopping tips

Online shopping during the holiday season has exploded since the turn of the century, and it's very likely we will see a record high this year, with the COVID-19 pandemic keeping many at home. Industry experts say there may be a significant increase from those in age groups that shied away from going online to buy gifts as they have become increasingly comfortable with Zoom meetings and buying groceries online.

"The ease of shopping online also makes us more vulnerable to fraud, so it's more important than ever to be aware as you fill your online shopping cart with gifts," Krista said.

Here are some important tips:

  • Use common sense, do not give out personal information to someone who contacted you via phone, email or text message requesting personal information so they can verify who you are, when they should already know who you are (they called you). Remember, Banks will never contact you and ask for your password or pin number (they have that information).
  • Do not respond to pop-ups promising a special offer or something for free - it may be a phishing attempt with a link containing malware or a computer virus.
  • Do not click on links in emails that you were not expecting. A common fraud scam involves sending a fake alert telling you about suspected fraudulent activity on your card, asking you to click a link to verify or report the incident. If this happens, delete the email immediately without clicking the link, and be sure to call us directly, or via our TD mobile app, to discuss your concerns.
  • Review your statements frequently and let us know immediately if there are unauthorized purchases.
  • Sign up for text/email alerts. You can set ranges for dollar amount and geographic area, so that you are made aware of suspicious charges.
  • Do not save your personal information online for use in future purchases when given the option.
  • Do not use public computers or public wireless Internet access for your online shopping or banking. Information can be compromised easily on unsecured Wi-Fi.
  • Use of a strong, unique passwords are one of the easiest ways to protect your devices, computers, and online accounts. As a best practice, use a different unique password for every unique site.
  • Never share passwords or Pin numbers

Shopping in the Stores

For many of us, some of the most fun times during the holidays is the hunt for the perfect gifts for family and friends at both small businesses and large chains. While fighting the crowds can be tiring, it can provide excitement joining with your fellow shoppers. This year, we can expect the crowds to be much lighter, due to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. However, some of us still plan to do our shopping in person as there is nothing quite like it

  • Shop during daylight hours whenever possible. If you must shop at night, go with a friend or family member.
  • Even though you are rushed and thinking about a thousand things, stay alert to your surroundings.
  • Avoid carrying large amounts of cash.
  • Notify TD immediately if your debit or credit card is lost, stolen or misused.
  • Keep a record of all your credit card numbers in a safe place at home.
  • Avoid overloading yourself with packages. It is important to have clear visibility and freedom of motion to avoid mishaps.
  • Beware of strangers approaching you for any reason. At this time of year, "con-artists" may try various methods of distracting you with the intention of taking your money or belongings.

If you find yourself needing more cash during your shopping ventures, remember these tips using Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) at any location.

  • When you use an ATM, choose one that is in a well-light location.
  • Withdraw only the amount of cash you need.
  • Never write your ATM and/or credit card PIN on the cards
  • Protect your PIN by shielding the ATM keypad from anyone who is standing near you.

For more information check out these links on TDBank.com:

TD VoicePrint, single-use security codes and security alerts

Online and Offline Security Tips

Want to learn more about covid-19?
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TD Bank's Peter Mottek on Wealth's Immense Potential, Staying the Course Amid COVID-19 and Family Time