Canadian Underwriter

Fraud survey reveals Canadians’ fears about safety of personal information

March 7, 2018   by Jason Contant

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Nearly four in 10 (39%) of Canadians fear that their personal information has been compromised.

The annual fraud survey, released on Wednesday, was commissioned by the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada and conducted last month.

Three-quarters (76%) of 1,000 Canadians polled in the study worried that Canadian businesses holding their personal data are vulnerable to cyberattacks. That’s up three per cent from last year’s survey. Other findings include:

  • More than seven in 10 (71%) of those surveyed agreed that they are concerned about identity theft, up from 66% last year.
  • Fewer respondents (68%) believe Canadian businesses are doing the best they can to safeguard the personal information of customers, down from 72% last year.
  • Thirty-five per cent of respondents report being a victim of financial fraud at some point in their lives, basically unchanged from last year. Credit card fraud (75%) and debit card fraud (24%) remain the top two listed in terms of the types cited.
  • Almost seven in 10 (68%) of respondents believe that electronic payment methods such as tapping debit and credit cards, or using smartphone apps, facilitate fraudulent activities. Forty per cent of survey participants report feeling uncomfortable buying online.

Several insurance carriers offer identity protection services or identity theft coverage. For example, last year Aviva Canada announced enhancements, including an increased policy limit, to its identify theft coverage at no additional cost to existing customers. Italian insurer Generali Group offered its identity protection platform in Canada last year, while Chubb partnered with CyberScout to offer complimentary identity management services to all Canadian homeowners who have purchased the Masterpiece insurance product.

Doretta Thompson, director of corporate citizenship with CPA Canada, recommended that consumers use trusted websites, reputable payment processors and check bank or credit card statements regularly for discrepancies. “You are your own best gatekeeper when it comes to protecting your personal information,” she said in a press release. “Be extremely cautious about what information you share online. Fraudsters are always looking for personal data.”

Survey results are considered accurate to within ±3.1 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

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