An Internet fraudster on Friday issued a bogus news release, purportedly from Toronto-Dominion Bank (TSE:TD), saying the major Canadian bank planned to sell its shares in the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, which is owned by TransCanada Corporation (TSE:TRP).
Two media organizations, including the International Business Times, published stories based on the bogus news release, which said TD Bank intended to "gradually sell its $1.6 billion stake in Keystone XL as a first step toward transitioning away from investment in oil sands extraction entirely." Shortly after those two stories were published, TD Bank alerted journalists of the scam and confirmed that it did not issue the statement.
Shares of TransCanada, which is based in Calgary, Alberta, were up more than 1 percent in midday trading and did not appear to be hurt by the bogus news release.
A spokesperson for TransCanada was not immediately available for comment. Like many Canadian corporations, it had closed its offices in observance of the long Canada Day break.
The website of the fraudulent news release was yourtdbank.com. The company hosting "yourtdbank.com" is called Electric Embers Cooperative Inc. Electric Embers did not immediately return calls from International Business Times.
Callers to the cooperative's 800-number heard the following recording: "Thank you for calling Electric Embers, providing standard and custom Internet hosting services to nonprofits, artists and the progressive community."