Canadian fraud risks increasing in a complex digital landscape

If you think there's something wrong, there probably is, says Interac

It’s Fraud Prevention Month in Canada and Interac Corp. has launched some tools to help Canadians not get scammed.

The company said 71 per cent of Canadians said in a survey that they  feel confident in their ability to detect a phishing scam. But Interac Corp. also found that 96 per cent were unable to identify the safest option forward when put to the test through the Interac #SafeNotSorry Experiment.

“In today’s complex digital landscape, hackers are becoming increasingly sophisticated, which means it’s becoming more difficult to tell real from fake, phishing from friendly,” said Rob Fodor, chief data scientist and VP of fraud at Interac Corp. “At Interac, we work closely with our partners to manage fraud risks systematically and arm Canadians with the information they need to spot, avoid and report scams they may come across.

Rob Fodor
Rob Fodor

“Canadians are a first line of defence in preventing fraud. However, we are concerned by the fraud literacy gaps identified in our #SafeNotSorry Experiment as most respondents did not catch common fraudulent scenarios such as suspicious requests for their banking and security information. Our message to Canadians is to be on the alert. If you receive a message that makes you suspicious, trust your instincts and verify the source.”

Here are Interac’s top three tips to prevent fraud:

  • Trust your intuition: Whether it’s a money transfer you weren’t expecting, or an email asking for your personal information, if you think there’s something wrong, there probably is.  
  • Be on the link out: Never click on links or open attachments you receive from a sender you don’t recognize. The Interac #SafeNotSorry Experiment found that Canadians were particularly susceptible to fraud related to unsecure URLs (82 per cent).
  • Keep calm but don’t carry on: If you receive a deposit or money request notification you weren’t expecting, don’t proceed in the hopes that it is safe without checking. Contact the sender through a different channel to check if it’s real.

Key findings from the Interac survey include:

  • Canadians could not identify the level of risk in scenarios involving suspicious requests to accept money transfers (84 per cent), verify personal banking credentials (63 per cent) and click on phishing links (82 per cent);
  • 55 per cent believe that they are safe from scams if they don’t click on any links – but there are many other ways for fraudsters to obtain your private information;
  • generation Z adults are the least confident in their abilities to spot a phishing scam (65 per cent) despite the fact they are the most likely to spend more than three hours a day online;
  • 44 per cent of millennials think they are more likely to be stung by a swarm of bees than lose their savings to a financial scam;
  • 46 per cent of boomers mistakenly think that the right solution if they’ve spotted a phishing scam is to close the Internet browser or delete the text.

– Mario Toneguzzi

digital fraud interac

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