Nearly one in three Canadians surveyed report having been victimized by financial fraudsters

Release

TORONTO, March, 2019 /CNW/ –

Financial fraud continues to impact Canadians, and as technologies become integrated into everyday life, fraudsters are targeting Canadians in new ways. According to a recent TD Fraud survey, nearly one in three Canadians report having been personally victimized by financial fraud, with most individuals (83%) losing up to $5,000.

 

Financial fraud leaves Canadians feeling concerned, both for themselves and for their loved ones. About six in ten (59%) of survey respondents report confidence in their own ability to keep their finances protected from fraudsters, but worry that older family members lack the same fraud savviness. Despite these concerns, fewer than half (45%) of respondents reported having had a conversation with older family members about financial fraud.

 

“Fraud doesn’t discriminate – attacks can happen to anyone, through any channel, including phone, text and email, at any time,” said Tammy McKinnon, Head of Financial Crimes and Fraud Management Group, TD Bank Group. “As scams continue to evolve, it’s important that we encourage conversations that increase Canadians’ knowledge and understanding of financial fraud and help equip our loved ones with the right information to prevent it from happening.”

 

When asked what concerned them most about financial fraud, nearly half of seniors (45%) responded that their biggest worry was becoming a victim of identity theft. In contrast, Millennials mentioned that having their money stolen was their top concern (39%).

 

Though financial fraud attacks are becoming more sophisticated, the good news is that about seven in ten (69%) Canadians are actively taking measures to protect themselves, and are adopting digital tools to combat technology-based fraud. Measures taken include:

  • Reviewing bank account statements often (79%)
  • Not sharing passwords or PINs with anyone (79%)
  • Not clicking on links, calling unknown phone numbers, or taking any requested action for personal or financial information until they have verified it comes from a legitimate source (73%)
  • Signing up for text message fraud alerts from their bank (41%)
  • Enabling two-factor authentication for added security (40%)

Despite taking these steps to protect themselves, the survey found that four in ten Canadians (41%) are still committing fraud faux-pas, such as writing their passwords down in a notebook or storing them on their phone.

“Our survey found that only a fraction (18%) of Canadians consider themselves very savvy when it comes to being able to identify and detect financial fraud,” said McKinnon. “Fraud Prevention Month offers a good opportunity to arm Canadians with information and reinforce resources to help them feel confident in spotting, avoiding and reporting financial fraud.”

For Canadians looking to learn how to help protect themselves and their loved ones from falling victim to fraud, TD offers the following tips and advice:

Pay attention to your fraud alerts. Banks are now using text messaging to communicate with their customers. By signing up for services like TD Fraud Alerts, you can receive texts that will notify you if TD detects suspicious activity made with your personal banking accounts – available at no cost.

Have conversations with family and friends. Seniors are increasingly being targeted by financial fraudsters. Help protect your family members by educating them on the most common scams, such as emergency scams that attempt to coerce grandparents into sending money to their grandchild in a foreign country, or romance scams that use legitimate dating websites to extort money from someone looking for companionship.

Protect your PIN. The only person who should know your PIN is you – not even your bank should know it. Don’t ever give out your PIN, whether in person, over the phone, online or by mail.

Be cautious and verify if the request is real. If you receive an email from a relative asking for funds because they’re in trouble overseas, or if you receive an unexpected and too-good-to-be-true cheque, chances are it’s fraud. Take some time to do a little research to verify if it’s real – it’s always important to know who you’re doing business with.

Check your statements, online accounts or banking apps regularly. Taking these steps will help alert you to fraudulent transactions faster. Money management apps, like the TD MySpend app, can be a helpful tool and provide notifications of spending transactions in real time, which helps make it easy for customers to recognize a fraudulent transaction quickly.

About the TD Fraud Survey
TD Bank Group commissioned Environics Research to conduct a national online survey of 1,432 Canadians aged 18 years and older. Responses were collected between February 1 and 6, 2019.

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