TD Bank is warning customers to beware of a fake mass text sent out Wednesday morning telling people — including those who don’t even bank with TD — that their accounts are suspended and to immediately provide their personal information.
“These messages are not from TD and we would never request information from customers in this way,” said TD Bank Group spokesperson Erin Baldwin.
“We are actively communicating with customers not to open or respond,” she said.
The phishing text, which includes a link, reads as follows:
(URGENT) Your TD Online Banking has been suspended. To unlock your account, click here.”
The bank said it immediately put messages up on its website (under Notice to customers: Fraudulent text message under Easyweb) as well as its contact centre and social media sites to alert customers.
It reads: “Some customers have reported receiving an SMS text message on their cell phones requesting personal account information . . . If you receive a similar message, please don’t open or respond. Instead, please report to email@example.com ”
The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre says no banks are immune to such pranks and they happen frequently.
A centre spokesman said it’s notable that fraudsters appear to be opting for text rather than email for phishing lately, so it’s a little different than usual.
“Emails were the number one way (for scams) for a long time. It’s just a different format that they’ve moved to try and trick people,” said Allan Boomhour.
“Certainly don’t click on the link because it could contain a virus,” he added.
TD reminds customers throughout the year of steps they can take to protect themselves against what is also known as SMiShing, and other types of online fraud, Baldwin said.
The bank advises several ways to combat fraud, including: do not disclose personal, confidential or financial information through emails, text message or web browsers on your mobile phone; do not respond to a text message or email from an unknown source; pay attention to web addresses and always type a URL into your web browser instead of clicking on a link; and only download apps and software from reputable or authorized websites you know or trust.
TD also says customers should monitor their bank accounts regularly and notify your bank immediately if you suspect you’ve been a victim of fraud, and also not to share your usernames, passwords and login information.
“We will continue to actively monitor the situation,” added Baldwin.