Canadian Manufacturing

Fewer Canadians concerned about identity theft, says CPA Canada

Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada's latest fraud survey found that fear over identity theft has lessened since 2016, but there is still significant concern for personal information safety


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TORONTO—There is a sharp drop in the number of Canadians expressing concern about identity theft.

This is according to the 2017 Canada Fraud Survey, a new study conducted for Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada).

66 per cent of the respondents said that they are concerned about identity theft, but the number is significantly down from 74 per cent in 2016.

At the same time, 72 per cent of the survey participants said 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.

However, for the second straight year, 73 per cent of the respondents said that they are concerned that Canadian businesses are vulnerable to cyberattacks targeting personal information.

“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,” said Cairine Wilson, vice-president, Corporate Citizenship, CPA Canada.

She continued, “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.”

Concerns over Personal Information

39 per cent of respondents said they fear that someone has personal information about them that they should not be in possession of, up from 35 per cent in last year’s survey.

The survey found that 81 per cent of respondents use 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.

71 per cent said that they are concerned that electronic payment methods, such as tapping debit and credit cards or using smartphone apps to make payments, actually makes fraud easier.

In addition, 43 per cent of those surveyed in 2017 either strongly or somewhat agree that they are uncomfortable when making online purchases.

In terms of experiencing financial fraud, 32 per cent of the respondents reported they had been a victim at some point in their lives, basically unchanged from 2016 (33 per cent).

Among those who reported being a victim of financial fraud, 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 fraud cited in 2016, as well.

The 2017 CPA Canada Fraud Survey was conducted by Harris Poll via telephone between Jan. 31 and Feb. 8, 2017, with a national random sample of 1,001 Canadians.


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