Ninety-six per cent of Canadians failed to spot fraud when put to the test

Canadians are overconfident in their ability to spot fraud. While seven in 10 Canadians (71 per cent) say they feel confident in their ability to detect a phishing scam, a recent survey conducted by Interac Corp. 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, 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.”

As part of the Interac #SafeNotSorry Experiment, 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).

Interac #SafeNotSorry Experiment Results:

  • Over half of Canadians (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.
  • Gen 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.
  • More than two-fifths of Millennials (44 per cent) think they are more likely to be stung by a swarm of bees than lose their savings to a financial scam.
  • Nearly half of Boomers (46 per cent) mistakenly think that the right solution if they’ve spotted a phishing scam is to close the internet browser or delete the text.

“Canadians are a first line of defense 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,” added Fodor. “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.”

In recognition of Fraud Prevention Month, Interac Corp. is sharing its top three tips to help keep Canadians #SafeNotSorry when faced with possible instances of fraud:

  1. Trust your intuition: Fraudsters are constantly adapting their tactics so staying alert is your best defense. 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.  
  2. 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).
  3. 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. If you think the notification is a scam designed to look like an Interac e-Transfer alert, forward the email to phishing@interac.ca so our fraud team can investigate for you.

Interac has built tools and technologies into every product to help keep you safe from fraud. For more information about Interac security, please visitwww.interac.ca/fraudprevention.