The latest CPA Canada Fraud Survey found that two-thirds (66 per cent) of the respondents agree that they are concerned about identity theft. That number is significantly down from 74 per cent in 2016.
At the same time, 72 per cent of the survey participants agree that Canadian businesses, in general, are doing the best they can to safeguard the personal information of their customers, up from 66 per cent last year.
The 2017 CPA Canada Fraud Survey was conducted by Harris Poll via telephone between January 31 and February 8, 2017. Researchers polled a national random sample of 1,001 adult Canadians aged 18 years. The results are considered accurate to within ±3.1 per cent, 19 times out of 20.
“In this era of ever-evolving technology and data management challenges, it is good to see an increasing number of Canadians recognizing the efforts that the business community puts into protecting personal information,” says Cairine Wilson, vice-president, corporate citizenship, CPA Canada. “It’s also encouraging that the respondents understand that, while the business community is doing what it can in terms of information protection, risks do remain.”
However a majority of respondents (71 per cent) said they are “concerned that easily used electronic payment methods, such as tapping debit and credit cards or using smartphone apps to make payments, actually makes fraud easier,” the survey said.
Almost four-in-ten or 39 per cent also said they “fear that someone has personal information about them that they should not be in possession of.” That’s up from 35 per cent from the previous year.
Online fraud dropped, but only very slightly.
When it came to actually experience financial fraud, 32 per cent (almost unchanged from 33 per cent in 2016) said they have been victims at some point.
Among those who reported being a victim, credit card fraud had the highest incidence rate (74 per cent) followed by debit card fraud (28 per cent). Those were the top two forms of financial fraud cited in 2016 as well.
The top three forms of financial fraud were: credit card fraud, debit card fraud, and online fraud.
The survey also found that the top three ways people access the Internet were through: personal computer (laptops and desktops), personal mobile devices (cellular phones and tablets), and work computers (laptops and desktops).
Of note, the survey found that 81 per cent of the respondents uses a mobile device, such as a cellular phone or tablet as one of their sources for accessing the internet, up from 76 per cent just a year ago.
“Fraudsters target many avenues to gain your personal information including social media and emails,” Wilson explained. “Keep your guard up at all times. Being skeptical is a good thing when it comes to protecting yourself.”
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