Fraud: The Battle Intensifies
BY ERIC SPENCE
© 2014 FrontLine Security (Vol 9, No 2)

The Aite Group has published a new research report on consumer fraud around the world. The two-part report questions confidence that consumers have in their financial institutions. The first report, which focuses on attitudes toward fraud, found that 23% of fraud victims changed financial institutions due to dissatisfaction after experiencing fraud.

Global trends

  • In 2014, 21% of Canadians reported being victims of credit/debit/prepaid card fraud in the past 5 years (compared to 25% who reported being ­victims in 2012).
  • By comparison, 41% of Americans stated they had been card fraud victims in the past 5 years (behind the UAE and China, and tied with India). The Swedes reported the fewest instances of fraud, with only 10% of its citizens reporting being victimized.
  • In an examination of risky behaviours, the study showed that Canadians have become more protective of their personal information in the last 3 years
  • In 2014, 12% had thrown documents containing personal financial information in the trash (compared to 18% who reported doing so in 2011).
  • In 2014, 12% shopped online using non-secured sites or on a public computer (compared to 24% in 2012).

Some bad habits remain
Some risky behaviours have not improved. For instance, 3% of Canadians admitted to responding to calls or emails asking for bank details (compared to 7% globally), 12% left their smart phones unlocked when not in use (20% global), and 6% say they wrote down their PIN and carried it with them (11% is the “admitted” global norm). Additionally, about 17% of global users say they have shopped on unprotected internet sites or with an unprotected computer. A shocking 24% of respondents admitted to throwing unshredded bank paperwork or account information in the trash.

A lot of fraud can go undetected. An easy way to keep tabs on your credit is to check your credit report at least once a year. Early detection of fraud can save hours of time and hassle later.

Overall though, the improvement is significant
“Canadians are finally starting to protect themselves – and seeing results,” says Jeff Schwartz, executive director of Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada. “It’s exciting to see that behaviours are changing and criminals are having a harder time finding victims.”

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Eric Spence represents Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada, a national non-profit credit counselling organization that teaches consumers about personal finance.
© FrontLine Security 2014

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