March 5, 2021 – According to a TD Bank survey for this year’s Fraud Prevention Month, more than half of Canadians polled feel vulnerable to financial fraud. Respondents point to social isolation and online behaviours such as sharing too much information on social media as situations that they think heighten the risk of being targeted by fraudsters.
In the 2021 survey, 56 per cent of Canadians believe they could be a target for financial fraudsters. According to respondents, factors that contribute to feeling vulnerable to fraud include loneliness or social isolation (84 per cent), increased online activity such as shopping (82 per cent), and financial hardship or job loss (80 per cent).
“Canadians’ perception of how and why they may be vulnerable to fraudsters reflects the changes in how we live and work in a pandemic,” said Tammy McKinnon, Head of the Financial Crimes & Fraud Management Group at TD. “While isolation and loneliness may play a role, more Canadians are aware that as they spend more of their lives online, they need to be mindful of what they share and take steps to protect themselves.”
Women surveyed were more likely to see loneliness and social isolation as factors in being vulnerable to fraud (90 per cent) while 78 per cent of men would agree. Gen Xers, at 89 per cent, are the most likely to point to loneliness as a reason someone would be vulnerable to fraud – 15 per cent higher than Gen Z (74 per cent) and 10 per cent higher than millennial (79 per cent) respondents.
When asked what else contributes to feeling vulnerable to fraud, 89 per cent of respondents believe that being too trusting in general may put Canadians at risk. Sharing too much information on social media was highlighted as a potential risk by 88 per cent of respondents, while 81% stated that simply being too busy to recognize the signs of a scam makes Canadians more vulnerable to attempted fraud.