Canadians, however, do not take these attacks lying down. The majority of respondents surveyed said they took precautions to avoid potential fraud incidents, including 79% who would not disclose personal information to a caller claiming to be from their financial institution or the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). 74% who would never click a link in an email they are unfamiliar with; and 72% who said they wouldn’t send money to someone they met online.
A deeper look at the results also revealed that baby boomers aged 56 and over appear to be taking more precautions against fraud. Compared to their millennial counterparts, a higher proportion of boomers said they use strong passwords and change them regularly (63% vs 45% of millennials) and destroy their personal documents before discarding them (80% vs 44%). Overall, only 1% of respondents aged 56 or over said they didn’t take proactive measures to protect against fraud, compared with 9% of millennials.
“While 82% of Gen Z and Millennial respondents thought that too much trust made someone more susceptible to cheating, the number rose to 93% for both Gen Xers and those 56 and over,” said Tammy McKinnon, director of the Financial Crime & Fraud Management Group at TD. “This is likely because younger generations who grew up with modern technology feel more tech-savvy and don’t believe they need to take as many safety precautions as their parents.”
According to McKinnon, older generations of Canadians seemed more skeptical of the technology. Nine-tenths (89%) of 56 year olds and older said finding hard-to-use technology would make someone more susceptible to fraud, compared to just two-thirds (66%) of Gen Z and around three-quarters (73%) ) by Millennial Respondents.
Regarding the different types of scams they have experienced over the past year, the largest number of Canadians reported having been contacted by phone by scammers (53%), including 36% of respondents contacted by a CRA scammer. Nearly half (47%) were affected by phishing or email scams, while 40% said they had received fraudulent text messages. Other specialized programs such as romance fraud (7%) and healthcare fraud or COVID-19-related fraud (6%) were also cited.