Ontario residents increase their efforts to fight fraud

-TD Canada Trust poll reveals that although Ontarians are more fraud savvy than last year, there's still room for improvement -

-TO VIEW A SOCIAL MEDIA VERSION OF THE RELEASE INCLUDING AN ANIMATED VIDEO, VISIT http://www.smrmediaroom.ca/TDFraud.html-

TORONTO, Feb. 23 /CNW/ - Ontario residents are doing more now to protect themselves from fraud compared to a year ago, according to the TD Canada Trust Fraud Prevention Month Poll. An increasing number of Ontario residents say they shield their PINs (78% vs. 58% in 2010), stay away from unfamiliar ATMs (61% vs. 40% in 2010), and shred confidential documents when they are no longer needed (82% vs. 69% in 2010).

"It's encouraging to see that Ontario residents are taking more steps now to avoid being victims of fraud, but we want to remind people to continue to remain diligent and protect themselves," says Justin Hwang, Associate Vice President, Fraud Management, TD Canada Trust. "Financial institutions have tools and information available to help protect Ontarians and combat fraud, but the vast majority of fraud can be avoided if people are proactive and follow some simple tips, such as shielding their PIN, and being careful with their personal information."

The TD Canada Trust Fraud Prevention Month Poll also revealed that many Ontarians are engaging less in risky behaviour that makes them vulnerable to fraud compared to last year. Only 11% of Ontarians say they have ever sent credit card account information through an email, while 20% admitted to doing so in 2010. Alarmingly, some Ontarians are still putting themselves at increased risk in some areas: 18% admit to carrying their debit card PIN in their wallet (vs. 5% in 2010).

Ontario residents are still concerned about fraud in general (80% vs. 87% in 2010). This year they were also asked about two newer types of fraud - phishing and vishing. More than three quarters of Ontarians are concerned with being a victim of phishing (75%) or vishing (80%), two scams which trick consumers into providing personal information, either electronically or over the phone, which is then used to commit fraud.

"Criminals are always trying to stay a step ahead and develop new scams, so it's extremely important for Ontarians to be aware of new threats as they appear," says Hwang. "These days, it's easy to fall for a sophisticated phishing scheme. Just remember, that your bank will never ask you for personal information over email, and if you're ever unsure about an email you receive or a website you enter, err on the side of caution and contact your bank immediately."

In support of Fraud Prevention Month, TD Canada Trust developed the following quiz to help Ontarians determine how fraud savvy they are and learn what they can do to help protect themselves.

2ND ANNUAL TD CANADA TRUST FRAUD PREVENTION QUIZ - HOW SAFE ARE YOU?

1. True or False: It's a good idea to give your debit and credit card PIN numbers to your close family and friends.

False: You should not let anyone else know or use your PIN (Personal Identification Number), including family and friends. Avoid writing it down or carrying it in your wallet. No one but you should know your PIN - not even your bank.

2. True or False: Wi-Fi networks, like those found in coffee shops and hotel lobbies, are always completely safe for you to use.

False: You need to use caution when using unsecure Wi-Fi networks. If you're on an unsecured network, Wi-Fi bandits could try to hack into your laptop or cell phone to steal your online banking passwords, copy your contacts from email programs, or even download illegal files.

3. True or False: When shopping online, there are simple clues to figure out whether or not a website is safe.

True: To see if a site is secure, check the lower corner of your browser window for a padlock or key icon whenever you're on a screen that sends personal information or credit card numbers. If the padlock is closed or the key is intact, security technology will scramble your credit card number and personal information as it's being transmitted to the merchant. As well, the secure website address will begins with "https://".

4. True or False: Now that I have CHIP enabled debit and credit cards, I don't need to protect my PIN.

False: When conducting any transaction at an ATM or making a purchase, always shield the keypad when you enter your PIN

5. True or False: If your bank needs to contact you, they will email you and ask you for your account information.

False: Your bank will never contact you by email asking for account information. If you are have been emailed for this information then you have likely been "phished." Phishing refers to an online scam that seeks out personal financial information from people who believe they are sharing their information with a legitimate website or organization.

6. True or False: When making a debit transaction, if the keypad doesn't stretch far enough, it's ok to give your card to the salesperson so that they can enter your PIN for you.

False: When making a debit transaction, never allow the merchant to take your card out of sight. It takes only seconds for fraudsters to reproduce your card. A false card combined with your PIN can provide a criminal access to your bank account.

7. True or False: If I am a victim of debit or credit card fraud, I can get my money back.

True: Canadian cardholders are protected. Visa cardholders are protected through the Visa Zero Liability Policy, which means they are not responsible for fraudulent or unauthorized charges on their Visa account. Victims of debit card fraud are protected by the Canadian Code of Practice for Consumer Debit Card Services and are reimbursed by their financial institutions.

For more information on fraud prevention from TD Canada Trust, visit http://www.td.com/privacyandsecurity/protect_yourself.jsp.

About the 2011 TD Canada Trust Fraud Prevention Month Poll

Results were collected through Environics' national telephone omnibus between February 1 to 3, 2011. A total of 1,001 interviews were completed, including 250 in Ontario.

About TD Bank Group

The Toronto-Dominion Bank and its subsidiaries are collectively known as TD Bank Group (TD or the Bank). TD is the sixth largest bank in North America by branches and serves approximately 19 million customers in four key businesses operating in a number of locations in key financial centres around the globe: Canadian Personal and Commercial Banking, including TD Canada Trust and TD Insurance; Wealth Management, including TD Waterhouse and an investment in TD Ameritrade; U.S. Personal and Commercial Banking, including TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank; and Wholesale Banking, including TD Securities. TD also ranks among the world's leading online financial services firms, with more than 6 million online customers. TD had CDN$620 billion in assets on October 31, 2010. The Toronto-Dominion Bank trades under the symbol "TD" on the Toronto and New York Stock Exchanges.

SOURCE TD Bank Group

For further information:

Steve Presant / Carolyn Abbass
Paradigm Public Relations
416-203-2223
spresant@paradigmpr.ca / cabbass@paradigmpr.ca

Tashlin Hirani
TD Bank Group
416-982-3375
tashlin.hirani@td.com


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