A national survey conducted for the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada) reveals that many Canadians are fighting back against scammers by protecting themselves against fraud and identity theft.
The 2014 CPA Canada Fraud Survey clearly shows that most respondents are taking action to protect their financial information:
- 72 per cent said they always shred their banking and credit card statements.
- 68 per cent stated they are very uncomfortable giving out personal or financial information through email.
- 61 per cent confirmed they were very uncomfortable giving out personal or financial information on the phone.
- 59 per cent stated they always cover the keypad when entering their Personal Information Number (PIN) at a retailer or a bank machine.
- 60 per cent said they always check to confirm the shopping websites they use are encrypted when purchasing products online.
- 56 per cent indicated they were very uncomfortable logging in to their banking or investment website using a public Wi-Fi network.
- 51 per cent confirmed they notify their bank/credit card company when they travel abroad.
- 49 per cent said they are very uncomfortable using their Social Insurance Number (SIN) as identification.
"It's heartening to see so many Canadians displaying an awareness of fraud prevention and taking preventative action, but they cannot let their guard down," says Nicholas Cheung, CPA, CA, a director at CPA Canada. "Fraud prevention requires continued diligence."
The survey also reveals that, despite these efforts, the incidence of fraud in Canada remains widespread. Nearly a third (29 per cent) of the respondents report being victims of some form of financial fraud and 43 per cent know someone who has been a fraud victim.
The most common types of fraud reported by victims surveyed were credit and debit card fraud (71 per cent and 28 per cent respectively) followed by, identity theft (seven per cent), email fraud and online fraud (each at six per cent) and fraudulent investment schemes (five per cent).
"People need to be vigilant, not only by acquiring the knowledge to spot and stop fraud, but also by reporting these crimes," says Daniel Williams, Senior Call Centre Supervisor for the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC). "The sad truth is that most cases of fraud go unreported and this benefits the fraudsters. If you have been a victim or suspect fraud, fight back by contacting us."