A new study from Interac Corp. has found that nearly 62% of Canadians are worried about online scams, even though most of them recognize the various ways fraudsters can strike. According to the Interac Fraud Prevention Index, the most commonly-reported scams nationally include fraudulent emails (45%) and phone scams (44%).
Text message fraud is most prevalent in Quebec (44%) and least prevalent in Atlantic Canada (19%). In major cities, Montrealers were most likely to have experienced identity theft as compared with Torontonians or Vancouverites.
“Our study shows that Canadians are being targeted non-stop through a wide range of channels – phone, email, text and social media,” said Rachel Jolicoeur, Director, Fraud Prevention & Partnerships at Interac Corp. He added that nearly half of Canadians or their families (48%) report falling victim to fraud.
Following are some key takeaways from the study that drew responses from over 2,200 Canadians:
- Nearly two in five Canadians have clicked a link from an unknown source. Regionally, Atlantic Canadians are the most likely to have done so compared to Quebecers who are the least likely.
- A third of Canadians have accessed online banking on a public WiFi network. Provincially, Albertans are the least likely to have done this.
- Half of Canadians do not change their online banking or email password regularly, doing so only if prompted, every few years or never at all.
- Torontonians and Vancouverites are most likely to have provided personal information over the phone when their call could be overheard by others compared to Montrealers.
- Montrealers are less likely than Vancouverites and Torontonians to see buying and selling on online marketplaces as a high-risk activity.
- Millennials are more likely to see social media as a credible source of fraud education.
The study also found that nearly 70% of Canadians want to know more about protecting themselves from fraud.