Canadians Deemed ‘Overconfident’ as 96% Failed to Spot Fraud in Interac Experiment

Interac fraud

March is Fraud Prevention Month and Interac has released results from their #SafeNotSorry Experiment, where Canadians were put to the test to spot fraud.

Interac says “Canadians are overconfident in their ability to spot fraud,” noting while 71% said they were confident in their ability to spot a phishing scam, 96% were unable to detect the safest option in an experiment.

According to Interac data sent to iPhone in Canada, Canadians were unable to identify the level of risk in fraud situations, especially when it comes to suspicious requests to accept money transfers (84%), verify personal banking credentials (63%) and click on phishing links (82%).

“In today’s complex digital landscape, hackers are becoming increasingly sophisticated, which means it’s becoming more difficult to tell real from fake, phishing from friendly,” said Rob Fodor, Chief Data Scientist and VP of Fraud, Interac Corp, in a statement. “At Interac, we work closely with our partners to manage fraud risks systematically and arm Canadians with the information they need to spot, avoid and report scams they may come across.”

Here are some other key findings from the test, according to Interac:

  • 55% of Canadians believe that they are safe from scams if they don’t click on any links – but there are many other ways for fraudsters to obtain your private information
  • Gen Z Adults are the least confident in their abilities to spot a phishing scam (65%) despite the fact they are the most likely to spend more than three hours a day online
  • More than two-fifths of Millennials (44%) think they are more likely to be stung by a swarm of bees than lose their savings to a financial scam
  • Nearly half of Boomers (46%) mistakenly think that the right solution if they’ve spotted a phishing scam is to close the internet browser or delete the text

Since retail terminals were converted to chip and PIN in 2016, Interac says their debit card fraud losses are “at their lowest level ever”, with $4.4 million in 2018, down from $7.9 million in 2017. “More than 99.99% of Interac Debit transactions are processed without incident,” touts the company.

The top three tips to keep Canadians safe when it comes to fraud? Interac suggests to trust your intuition, never click on links or open attachments from unknown senders, don’t believe or try to verify unknown money request or deposit notifications.

Interac commissioned Hill+Knowlton Strategies for their online study, which surveyed 1,064 Canadians from February 1-5, 2019.

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