(New) Financial Fraud Prevention

March, 2017 marks the 13th annual Fraud Prevention Month, and Canadians are more aware and vigilant in protecting their financial information. Many Canadians know the basics of protecting themselves from financial fraud.

In fact, less than 10 per cent will share their PIN or SIN with a stranger, provide their credit card number on an unsecure site, or click an unknown link in a text message.

Unfortunately, the fraudsters are also evolving. Financial fraud has become more sophisticated and harder to distinguish; fraud schemes now look believable and often spark an immediate emotional reaction.

This can take the form of an e-mail announcing you’ve won a vacation or a telephone call asking for banking details; fraudsters are not only digging into your wallet, but also pulling on your heartstrings or trying to scare you.

According to a recent TD survey, 85 per cent of Canadians worry about themselves or their loved ones becoming a victim of financial fraud.

There are simple, savvy steps that Manitobans can take to detect potentially fraudulent situations:

Pay attention to your fraud alerts – Banks are increasingly using text messaging to communicate with their customers. For example, TD Fraud Alerts are texts that notify a customer if TD detects suspicious activity made with their TD Access Card on their personal banking accounts.

Protect your PIN and guard your cheques – The only person who should know your PIN is you – not even your bank knows it. Don’t ever give out your PIN, whether in person, over the phone, online or by mail. You should also never leave your cheques unattended and if your chequebook is lost or stolen, call your bank immediately.

Don’t be fooled by phishing – Exercise caution when receiving unsolicited e-mails containing attachments or asking you to click a link and provide sensitive information. Banks will not ask you to provide personal information, or login information such as usernames, passwords, PINs, security questions and answers, or account numbers, through an unsolicited e-mail.

Verify if it’s real – If you receive an unexpected and too-good-to-be-true cheque, chances are it may be fraudulent. It’s always important to know who you’re doing business with.

Check your statements, online accounts or banking apps regularly – This will alert you to fraudulent transactions more quickly. Money management apps, like the TD MySpend app, can be helpful tools since they help TD customers to be aware of certain types of transactions on eligible TD accounts and credit cards.

Vigilance and a bit of preparation can help to ease the worry, and to protect your financial health all year long.

(❚ Written by TD Bank Canada. More detail information: 204-985-4620. 2030 Corydon Avenue WPG.)