Fraud has become increasingly difficult to avoid these days. According to the 2020 Fraud Survey by CPA Canada, with better access to technology, it seems that we are falling victim to fraud due to unsafe and outdated techniques that are used to protect personal information and other sensitive data.
Fraud in Canada for 2020 and 2019
This year, 5% of Canadians shared that they have been subjected to online fraud, 18% say they are victims of credit card fraud, and 34% admitted to experiencing fraud personally. 45,000 Canadians fell victim to fraud in 2019 according to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre. Together, they lost $96 million but it seems like people have not learned from this and are still using the same outdated and unsafe techniques to protect their data this year. Risk advisor Claudiu Popa of Informatica says that fraud figures are still likely to rise before the year ends.
The survey says that 74% of Canadians bank online and have bought items from web-based retailers in 2019 without using the most secure systems and methods, thereby increasing their risk especially that they are the same group who are heavy users of social media. People who post their activities and details online are highly susceptible to being taken advantage of by fraudsters. More so, fraudsters now know how to infiltrate laptops, smart TVs, home security cameras, and smart locks with just a few key information that can be phished online.
Changes in Vigilance?
54% of Canadians are learning more about fraud from news and reports and are trying more ways to protect themselves while 47% say that they are getting their fraud prevention education from their financial institution. These same people are saying that they are still having trouble recognizing fraud because so many attempts at fraud resemble legitimate communication such as in the case of phishing emails and calls. Take for instance CRA scam calls, most people who get a fake call from someone claiming to be from the Canada Revenue Agency get so scared and will blurt out their personal details before they realize what is happening. Note too that fraudsters typically target those who are isolated.
Tips to Prevent Fraud
Below are some ways that you can use to minimize the chances of you becoming a victim of fraud.
- Make sure to create better passwords. Better passwords don’t have to mean longer passwords. You can choose short passwords that use a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols that will be difficult to figure out for someone. It is best to have different passwords for different websites and apps as well.
- Make it a habit to review your transactions. By checking your banking and credit card transactions frequently, you can catch any questionable entry as soon as it appears.
- Note your credit score. Changes in your credit score could be an indication that your personal details have been used for fraud.
- Safeguard your personal documents. This means shredding them if no longer needed. This will prevent your personal details from falling into the wrong hands.
- Stay vigilant at all times. You can do this by screening your calls and texts. Do not give out personal information via text or call more so if the call was initiated by someone other than you.
With 2020 coming to an end and online transactions becoming more in use as we cope with quarantine restrictions, let us all do our best to not become a part of the fraud statistics. Follow our fraud prevention blog and contact us if you need our private investigation services for fraud prevention or for uncovering workplace and WSIB fraud.