More than half of Canadians polled feel vulnerable to financial fraud, TD Bank survey finds
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Social isolation, increased online activities cited as contributing factors to vulnerability
TORONTO, March 4, 2021 /CNW/ - According to a TD Bank survey for this year's Fraud Prevention Month, more than half of Canadians polled feel vulnerable to financial fraud. Respondents point to social isolation and online behaviours such as sharing too much information on social media as situations that they think heighten the risk of being targeted by fraudsters.
In the 2021 survey, 56% of Canadians believe they could be a target for financial fraudsters. According to respondents, factors that contribute to feeling vulnerable to fraud include loneliness or social isolation (84%), increased online activity such as shopping (82%), and financial hardship or job loss (80%).
"Canadians' perception of how and why they may be vulnerable to fraudsters reflects the changes in how we live and work in a pandemic," said Tammy McKinnon, Head of the Financial Crimes & Fraud Management Group at TD. "While isolation and loneliness may play a role, more Canadians are aware that as they spend more of their lives online, they need to be mindful of what they share and take steps to protect themselves."
Women surveyed were more likely to see loneliness and social isolation as factors in being vulnerable to fraud (90%) while 78% of men would agree. Gen Xers, at 89%, are the most likely to point to loneliness as a reason someone would be vulnerable to fraud – 15% higher than Gen Z (74%) and 10% higher than millennial (79%) respondents.
When asked what else contributes to feeling vulnerable to fraud, 89% of respondents believe that being too trusting in general may put Canadians at risk. Sharing too much information on social media was highlighted as a potential risk by 88% of respondents, while 81% stated that simply being too busy to recognize the signs of a scam makes Canadians more vulnerable to attempted fraud.
Fraud types and steps Canadians are taking to protect themselves
The survey noted that a majority (78%) of Canadians report that they have been a target by at least one type of attempted fraud in the last year – including attempts that were spotted early and avoided. In the last year, Canadians surveyed were most likely to be contacted by fraudsters via phone (53%), with 36% of respondents calling out the Canada Revenue Agency scam specifically. Phishing or email scams targeted 47% and fraudulent text messages were received by 40% of respondents.
In the first 30 days of 2021, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre reported Canadians lost more than $10 million to fraud – a 42% increase over the same period last year – with more than 3,300 reported fraud victims.
Canadians are taking steps to protect themselves against fraud. According to the survey:
"As fraudsters continue to adapt to our new reality, it's encouraging that the majority of Canadians use more than one tactic to help protect themselves," continued McKinnon. "The consequences of fraud can be devastating, so it's vital to remain vigilant and stay informed about common scams to avoid falling victim to fraud."
For Canadians looking to better protect themselves and their loved ones from falling victim to fraud, TD offers the following tips and advice:
About the TD Fraud Survey
TD Bank Group commissioned Ipsos to conduct a national online survey of 1,001 Canadians aged 18 years and older. Responses were collected between February 19 and 22, 2021. Those categorized as Gen Z are 18 to 23; Millennials are 24 to 39; and Gen Xers are 40 to 55 years of age.
About TD Bank Group
The Toronto-Dominion Bank and its subsidiaries are collectively known as TD Bank Group ("TD" or the "Bank"). TD is the fifth largest bank in North America by assets and serves over 26 million customers in three key businesses operating in a number of locations in financial centres around the globe: Canadian Retail, including TD Canada Trust, TD Auto Finance Canada, TD Wealth (Canada), TD Direct Investing, and TD Insurance; U.S. Retail, including TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank®, TD Auto Finance U.S., TD Wealth (U.S.), and an investment in The Charles Schwab Corporation; and Wholesale Banking, including TD Securities. TD also ranks among the world's leading online financial services firms, with more than 14 million active online and mobile customers. TD had CDN$1.7 trillion in assets on January 31, 2021. The Toronto-Dominion Bank trades under the symbol "TD" on the Toronto and New York Stock Exchanges.
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SOURCE TD Bank Group