TD customers in several provinces hit with fraudulent DoorDash debit charges

General Angela Calla 29 Jan

TD and DoorDash say they’re working to reimburse victims’ missing money.

When Karen Lee got hit with $157 in DoorDash charges to her TD debit card in late December, she knew immediately she was a victim of fraud.

“I don’t have a DoorDash account and I never heard of them,” said Lee, who lives in French Creek, a small community on Vancouver Island. “I feel violated.”

DoorDash, a food delivery service that has grown in popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic, doesn’t serve Lee’s region. Even so, Lee said when she went to her local TD Canada Trust branch to deal with the issue, she met other customers who said they were victims of the same fraud.

“[A customer] said, ‘Well, that’s what I’m here for.’ And then the lady behind him said the same thing.”

It’s unclear who is behind the scam, which isn’t confined to one region. CBC News interviewed six TD customers from three different provinces who said they were victims of unauthorized DoorDash debit card charges. Each person said they don’t have a DoorDash account and have never used the service.

Following the publication of this story, dozens more people contacted CBC News to say that they, too, had been targeted by the scam.

A common complaint among those who said they were victims was that they experienced long waits — often around a month or longer — to get their money back.

Lee said she got reimbursed on Tuesday — a month after she reported the fraud.

“It’s too long,” she said. “I’m a pensioner. You know, you’re having a limited income.”

Pamela Kinsman of Guelph, Ont., said she’s still waiting for her refund after discovering two fraudulent debit card transactions totalling $195 charged to the TD account she shares with her husband. She said she reported the issue to the bank on Jan. 9.

“It was very upsetting and unnerving,” Kinsman said in an interview. “I guess they do have to do a long investigation, but I think they should trust … the customers.”

Debit cards no longer just for ATMs

Over the years, banks have enhanced their debit cards so customers can use them not only to withdraw cash at an ATM, but also to make online purchases, much like a credit card.

That feature makes debit cards similarly vulnerable to cyber fraud, said Toronto-based cybersecurity expert Ritesh Kotak.

He said fraudsters can sometimes infiltrate a person’s debit card through nefarious methods such as mail theft, phishing emails or even a simple phone scam.

“We’ve seen people just calling up and saying, ‘Hey, can you verify your information or verify your account?’ And sometimes we end up giving up the information.”

Another problem is that, unlike with credit cards, debit card transactions withdraw money from your bank account. That means if you get a fraudulent charge, you’re out of pocket until the matter is resolved.

“That’s the tragedy here is that you are out your money, your hard-earned money,” said Kotak. “The bank is going to investigate the fraud. However, if anyone’s ever called a bank, you can be on hold for a long time.… It could take 10 days, it could take longer for that money to come back.”

TD and DoorDash respond

TD told CBC News that it investigated the fraudulent charges and that the issue has been resolved.

“Over an isolated period, a small percentage of TD Debit cardholders experienced fraudulent activity incurring unauthorized charges from a single merchant,” TD spokesperson Samantha Grant said in an email. TD has more than 13.5 million customers across Canada.

DoorDash said it’s working closely with TD “to help support and facilitate reimbursements.”

Grant blamed any delays the affected customers have experienced on “COVID-19 and related lockdown measures [which] have resulted in higher call volumes and longer than normal wait times.”

“We apologize for any inconvenience and are working hard to support customers, including bringing in additional resources,” she said.

Neither TD nor DoorDash offered an explanation as to how the fraud happened, but TD did suggest the pandemic and the shift to online shopping has had an impact on such scams.

“As we’ve seen customers migrate to online channels, we’ve seen fraudsters do the same,” said Grant.

This isn’t the first time TD has dealt with this type of scam. In 2019, CBC News reported that dozens of TD debit card users said they got hit with fraudulent charges from Spotify, a music streaming service.

At the time, the bank said “a very limited” number of cardholders were affected.

TD said this week it has security measures in place to help protect customers, and as fraudsters develop new tactics, the bank adjusts its safeguards accordingly.

How can customers protect themselves?

Typically, bank customers caught up in a debit card scam will be reimbursed if it’s determined someone fraudulently used their account.

Kotak said one way to guard against fraudulent charges is to ask your bank to block your debit card’s online purchasing feature by setting the card’s limit for online transactions to zero.

Lee did just that after discovering her two DoorDash charges. “It’s just for withdrawals and deposits. I don’t use [a] debit card for purchases anyway,” she said.

Kotak says when people receive debit cards, they should be able to choose whether they want the online purchase option turned on.

“If I want that feature, let me call into the bank,” he said. “Don’t auto-enrol people.”

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Angela Calla is a 16-year award-winning woman of influence and mortgage expert. Alongside her team, Angela passionately assists mortgage holders in acquiring the best possible mortgage. She educates and empowers individuals on the “The Mortgage Show”, which she’s hosted for over a decade, and is the best-selling author of The Mortgage Code available on Amazon. All proceeds from her book sales are donated to the YWCA helping empower women and children in our community. Additionally, in August of 2020, she surpassed $1 Billion dollars in funded personal mortgage volume at the young age of 37.

Angela leads by example with passion and conviction. She is known as an industry expert on TV and radio and the go-to source for publishers across the Country. She has even been known to sing the national anthem at sporting events! On top of all her achievements, Angela finds the time to be a loving wife and mother of two beautiful children.

For media interviews, speaking inquiries, or personal mortgage assistance, please contact Angela at hello@countoncalla.ca or 604-802-3983.

Bank of Canada Still Expects No Rate Increases Until 2023 – Dr. Sherry Cooper

General Angela Calla 22 Jan

The Bank of Canada, this morning, released its January Monetary Policy Report (MPR), showing they expect to keep overnight interest rates at its “effective lower bound” of 0.25% until 2023. To reinforce this commitment and keep interest rates low across the yield curve, the Bank will continue its Quantitative Easing (QE) program–buying $4 billion of Government of Canada bonds every week until the recovery is well underway. The central bank indicated it could pare purchases once the recovery regains its footing.

According to the Bank’s press release, “The Governing Council will hold the policy interest rate at the effective lower bound until economic slack is absorbed so that the 2 percent inflation target is sustainably achieved. In our projection, this does not happen until into 2023.” Officials are apparently optimistic about the economy’s prospects once the vaccine is sufficiently distributed and injected. There is no indication that they are planning additional measures to ease monetary policy.

This is particularly noteworthy for two reasons: 1) some economists had been speculating that the Bank would lower the overnight rate by 10-to-15 basis points to help mitigate the impact of continued and broadening lockdowns; and, 2) others thought the early development of the vaccine would trigger sufficient growth to warrant a rate hike in 2022. In the Bank’s current view, neither is likely to be the case. Why mess with a minute cut in already record-low interest rates when mortgage lending is still strong? The slow rollout of the vaccine and the mounting second wave of cases assure weak economic activity in Canada at least until the second half of this year.

As well, inflation remains surprisingly muted. In a separate release today, Stats Canada revealed that price pressures in Canada unexpectedly slowed in December as the country endured a new wave of lockdowns. After climbing to the highest since the pandemic in November, the latest reading shows price pressures are still well below the Bank of Canada’s 2% target. That’s consistent with the view from policymakers that inflation will remain subdued for some time.

The pandemic’s second wave has hit Canada very hard, and the vaccine rollout has been disappointing. Today’s MPR predicts that the economy will contract in the first quarter of this year. Economic weakness could be exacerbated by the Canadian dollar’s strength, which moved to above 79 cents US following today’s BoC announcement. Ten-year yields edged up modestly as well.

Bottom Line

For the year as a whole, economic growth is expected to be around 4% in 2021, compared to a contraction of -5.5% last year. As the inoculated population grows, the Bank forecasts an acceleration in growth to just under 5% in 2022 and a more-normal 2.5% in 2023. According to the January MPR, “The medium-term outlook is stronger than in the October Report because of vaccines’ positive effects, greater fiscal stimulus, stronger foreign demand and higher commodity prices. Meanwhile, potential output has also been revised up, reflecting an improved projection for business investment and less scarring effects on businesses and workers. There is considerable uncertainty around the medium-term outlook for GDP and the path for potential output. Thus, while the output gap is expected to close in 2023, the timing is particularly uncertain.”

Concerning housing activity, the report said, “Demand for housing has continued to show resilience, despite increasing case numbers and tightening restrictions. Housing activity should remain elevated into the start of 2021, supported by low borrowing rates and resilient disposable incomes. Changes in homebuyers’ preferences have also played a role. For example, price growth has been strongest for single-family homes and in areas outside city centres”. 


Angela Calla is a 16-year award-winning woman of influence and mortgage expert. Alongside her team, Angela passionately assists mortgage holders in acquiring the best possible mortgage. She educates and empowers individuals on the “The Mortgage Show”, which she’s hosted for over a decade, and is the best-selling author of The Mortgage Code available on Amazon. All proceeds from her book sales are donated to the YWCA helping empower women and children in our community. Additionally, in August of 2020, she surpassed $1 Billion dollars in funded personal mortgage volume at the young age of 37.

Angela leads by example with passion and conviction. She is known as an industry expert on TV and radio and the go-to source for publishers across the Country. She has even been known to sing the national anthem at sporting events! On top of all her achievements, Angela finds the time to be a loving wife and mother of two beautiful children.

For media interviews, speaking inquiries, or personal mortgage assistance, please contact Angela at hello@countoncalla.ca or 604-802-3983.

BC Assessment Update – Home Owner Grant threshold set for 2021 tax year

General Angela Calla 11 Jan

The 2021 Home Owner Grant threshold is set at $1.625 million, ensuring the same percentage of British Columbia homeowners continue to be eligible.

New in 2021, the Province is taking over full administration of the grant program to ease the burden on municipalities. The Province already administers the grant for rural homeowners. Homeowners in all municipalities will now submit their applications directly to the Province instead of through their municipal office. Similar to previous years, applications will open in May when a majority of property tax notices are received.

As in previous years, homeowners are reminded to keep their property assessment notice from BC Assessment or property tax notice from their municipality. They will need their roll and jurisdiction number from their notice to apply for the Home Owner Grant with the Province.

The grant is reduced by $5 for every $1,000 of assessed value above the threshold. Some low-income seniors, veterans and people with disabilities can also apply for a supplement that replaces any grant amount they lose due to the value of their home being over the threshold.

The grant amounts for 2021 for homeowners in Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley Regional District and Capital Regional District are:

  • up to $570 for the basic Home Owner Grant; and
  • up to $845 for homeowners who are 65 years or older, or the homeowner is a person with a disability or lives with a relative who has a disability.

The grant amounts for 2021 for homeowners located in a northern or rural area (outside Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley Regional District and the Capital Regional District) are:

  • up to $770; and
  • up to $1,045 for homes in northern or rural areas where the homeowner is 65 years or older, or the homeowner is a person with a disability.

Homeowners may also be eligible for property tax deferment if they are 55 years or older or are financially supporting a dependent child.

Learn More:

To find out more about Home Owner Grant centralization starting this year, visit:
https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/taxes/property-taxes/annual-property-tax/home-owner-grant

To find out whether you qualify for property tax deferment, visit:
https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/taxes/property-taxes/annual-property-tax/defer-taxes

People with questions about their assessed property values, including questions about challenging assessments, can contact BC Assessment: https://www.bcassessment.ca/


Angela Calla is a 16-year award-winning woman of influence and mortgage expert. Alongside her team, Angela passionately assists mortgage holders in acquiring the best possible mortgage. She educates and empowers individuals on the “The Mortgage Show”, which she’s hosted for over a decade, and is the best-selling author of The Mortgage Code available on Amazon. All proceeds from her book sales are donated to the YWCA helping empower women and children in our community. Additionally, in August of 2020, she surpassed $1 Billion dollars in funded personal mortgage volume at the young age of 37.

Angela leads by example with passion and conviction. She is known as an industry expert on TV and radio and the go-to source for publishers across the Country. She has even been known to sing the national anthem at sporting events! On top of all her achievements, Angela finds the time to be a loving wife and mother of two beautiful children.

For media interviews, speaking inquiries, or personal mortgage assistance, please contact Angela at hello@countoncalla.ca or 604-802-3983.

Government Updates – January 7, 2021

General Angela Calla 8 Jan

GOVERNMENT UPDATES
January 7, 2021

PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT UPDATE

Provincial Health Order Extended

By order and direction of the PHO, individuals and businesses in B.C. must significantly reduce social interactions and travel, all events and social gatherings are suspended to significantly reduce COVID-19 transmission related to social interactions and travel.

The order is in effect until February 5, 2021 at midnight.

More information can be found here.

The BC COVID-19 Recovery Benefit online applications are open

The BC Recovery Benefit is a one-time direct deposit payment for eligible families, single parents or individuals. Benefit eligibility is based on net income from your 2019 tax return. This benefit is a tax-free payment of up to $1,000 for eligible families and single parents and up to $500 for eligible individuals. You must apply to receive the benefit, and you have until June 30, 2021 to apply:
https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/economic-recovery/recovery-benefit

PREVIOUS UPDATES

Click here to see previous updates.


Angela Calla is a 16-year award-winning woman of influence and mortgage expert. Alongside her team, Angela passionately assists mortgage holders in acquiring the best possible mortgage. She educates and empowers individuals on the “The Mortgage Show”, which she’s hosted for over a decade, and is the best-selling author of The Mortgage Code available on Amazon. All proceeds from her book sales are donated to the YWCA helping empower women and children in our community. Additionally, in August of 2020, she surpassed $1 Billion dollars in funded personal mortgage volume at the young age of 37.

Angela leads by example with passion and conviction. She is known as an industry expert on TV and radio and the go-to source for publishers across the Country. She has even been known to sing the national anthem at sporting events! On top of all her achievements, Angela finds the time to be a loving wife and mother of two beautiful children.

For media interviews, speaking inquiries, or personal mortgage assistance, please contact Angela at hello@countoncalla.ca or 604-802-3983.