If you are anything like me, the last month has been busy – and life doesn’t show signs of slowing down until after the holidays are through. When life is busy, it’s easy to be distracted and click “yes” on something you shouldn’t have and then boom! Your bank account is compromised and the holidays become even more stressful. Over half of Canadians say they plan to do all or part of their holiday shopping online this year, making them a target for ‘ishing’ scams that can compromise banking or credit cards and make them a target for identity theft. (Currently, there are three types of ‘ishing’ scams differentiated by how they are sent. Smishing is via text message, phishing via email / online notification, and vishing is via the telephone) There is no one thing you can do to completely protect yourself from these scams but there are a couple of tips from TD Bank that can help you stay ahead of the scammers.
Be Vigilant Online and at Home
Don’t respond to emails or phone calls asking for details about your banking or credit card accounts. A popular telephone scam going around right now has someone claiming to be “from your credit card provider” – no company, and they cannot tell you which card when you ask. Your actual credit card company will KNOW the details of your account, and while they often ask a question to verify your identity when you call in, it won’t be your credit card number or the Credit Card Validation (CCV) number found on the back. NEVER give these numbers out over the phone. Similarly, if you get a text message or email from a bank, be wary. No bank will ask you for account details via email or text message. If you get a suspicious message, do not reply but do save it. You can forward the message to your bank and their fraud department will look into the details.When shopping online make sure that the address in the address bar of your browser matches the store that you are shopping at – especially if you have clicked a link from an email to get to the site. Any page that is asking for payment information should have a little padlock icon and start with https:// instead of the usual http://. This indicates that you are on a secure site.
Work WITH Your Bank / Credit Card Provider
Banks like TD have Fraud Alerts in place to help protect their customers from having their card compromised. If you are a TD Canadian customer, all you need to do is add your mobile number to your account via Easyweb or in person at a branch. Once you’ve done this, if the bank detects unusual activity on your TD Access Card, they may temporarily block your account and will send you a free text message with information about the suspicious activity. A unique feature with TD’s fraud alerts is that if you recognize the activity – like you made an unusually large debit purchase yourself – you can reply to the text with a “Y” and your card will be unblocked without you having to call the bank or go into the branch to have it unblocked. If you don’t recognize the activity, you simply reply with an “N” and your card will be blocked, and you can contact your bank for the next steps to take. It is important to note that TD will never ask you to reply to a Fraud Alert text with any personal information or ask you to click on any links in your reply. If you want to learn more about this really cool feature from TD, check out their video here: https://www.tdcanadatrust.com/products-services/banking/electronic-banking/access-card/access-card.jsp#tdfraudalerts
By staying vigilant and working with your bank / credit card provider, you can stay a step ahead of the fraudsters and keep your money as safe as possible this holiday season.
This post has been sponsored by TD Bank. All opinions are my own.
Minimize your risk: The information above is provided to help you protect yourself, but it’s not foolproof: it’s a fast paced and constantly changing world so make sure you are keeping up-to-date on and monitoring security features and preventative measures to minimize your risk of fraud.
 TD does not charge any fees for TD Fraud Alerts. However, standard wireless carrier message rates may apply.