Canadians are protecting themselves from fraud, survey finds

Published: March 1, 2017

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Luke Jones



Fraud is a major problem in Canada, with numerous scams targeting vulnerable people each year. However, according to a new survey, Canadians are becoming more adept at guarding against fraudulent activity. A majority of respondents are taking extra precautions to protect their personal information.

Additionally, around 30 percent are seeking help to improve their fraud-preventing techniques. The study was conducted by Equifax Canada, and in a press release on Tuesday the company says 91% of Canadians asked are taking steps to protect information. The survey was conducted amongst 1,569 Canadians aged between 18 and 65.

Equifax Canada is a division of Atlanta-based Equifax, which has operations in 24 countries across all continents. The company completed the survey on behalf of Fraud Prevention Month, which is being run by the Competition Bureau, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) and industry partners.

Of the 30% taking preventive measures on their own, 81% have taken two or more of the following steps:

*           double-checked credit card and/or bank statements (65%);

*           shredded personal and/or financial documents (57%);

*           updated security passwords (49%);

*           installed and/or updated security software on personal computer (42%);

*           shared less about themselves on social media (39%);

*           limited use of public WiFi (34%);

*           used cash more often (24%);

*           checked credit report (21%);

*           shopped less online (21%); and

*           used an identity theft product (9%).

“Identity fraud remains the most prevalent type of financial fraud, representing roughly 28% of all fraud victims,” the company statement notes.

“Scammers don’t discriminate. They prey on people from all economic backgrounds trying to gain access to their personal information,” cautions Tara Zecevic, Equifax Canada’s vice president of fraud prevention and identity management.

“While financial institutions and credit card companies are getting better every day at helping consumers spot and prevent fraud, the end-consumer must remain vigilant in this fight,” Zecevic emphasizes.

Survey findings include the following:

  • almost half of respondents have been a victim of identity theft or financial fraud;
  • 90% indicate they feel vulnerable to identity theft or financial fraud;
  • online is where 80% report feeling vulnerable;
  • 53% say virus or hacking makes them feel vulnerable;
  • 43% feel vulnerable to personal data security breaches at a retailer; and
  • 41% report feeling vulnerable after losing or having a wallet/purse stolen.