TORONTO — A recent Scotiabank survey revealed that nearly 60% of Canadians are concerned about falling victim to fraud this holiday season.
“We want all Canadians to be able to shop with confidence this holiday season and still remain mindful of the ever-present risk of financial fraud,” said Scott Gamble, senior vice-president, Fraud Management at Scotiabank, in a statement. “Over 75% of Canadians targeted by fraud never report it so we want to remind customers of some simple tips to avoid falling victim to fraud, and to always make their bank aware of any suspicious activity immediately.”
To help customers recognize, reject, and report financial fraud, Scotiabank is sharing five tips this holiday season:
- Always report any suspicious activity to your bank right away by calling the number on the back of your card.
- Make sure to use passwords that are hard to guess. Memorize them or keep them in a safe location if you must keep them written down.
- Protect your computer by downloading security software and anti-virus software, protect your internet connection and use supported browsers. See Scotiabank’s Safe Computing Practices, to learn more
- Do not share your banking passwords with anyone. Your bank will never call you or send you unsolicited emails asking for your password, PIN, credit card, or account numbers.
- Do not open attachments or click on hyperlinks in emails or text messages sent by unknown senders.
The Scotiabank survey polled 1,519 adults across Canada and discovered the following:
Three-quarters of fraud attempts go unreported: Almost half (47%) of all Canadians have been targeted by a financial fraud attempt yet three-quarters (76%) of Canadians who have been targeted never report it. Nearly half of millennials (49%) say they are unaware of how to report a fraud attempt.
A generational divide: Millennials are more likely than their older counterparts to have fallen victim to fraud (55%) yet they are less likely to protect themselves by shredding their personal documents (70% vs. 84% 55+) and updating their banking/online passwords regularly (50% vs. 59% 55+).
Fear of fraud impacts holiday shopping behaviour: The data suggests that Canadians’ sentiment toward fraud is shaping their purchasing habits. Of those who have been targeted in the past, 92% only conduct online shopping from trusted devices and 90% shop only from reputable online retailers.
Skeptical of social media: The survey revealed that 85% of Canadians have yet to make a purchase using social media platforms. Among Canadians who have already shopped via social media platforms 82% are reporting concerns about falling victim to fraud.