Canadians now savvier against wire fraud – TransUnion

Despite a nearly 45% increase in attempts, only 3% of Canadian consumers fell victim to these schemes

Canadians now savvier against wire fraud – TransUnion

Canadian would-be borrowers have become more careful about digital fraud over the past year, according to TransUnion.

Digital fraud attempts increased by 44.9% annually during the second quarter, but only 3% of consumers have reported being a victim of such schemes in those three months, TransUnion said. This is despite 30% saying that they have been targeted by fraud attempts during the same period.

“A potential reason for the small percentage of victims is the fact that consumer are taking an active role in monitoring their credit, with 44% of respondents stating they are monitoring their credit on at least a monthly basis, up from 41% in the previous survey period,” TransUnion said.

The most frequent fraud scheme found by the TransUnion study was phishing.

While millennials’ heavy use of the internet for financial transactions meant that they were more than twice as likely to have been victims of digital fraud compared to every other demographic, only 6% of this cohort said that they acted on fraud schemes. The share was 3% each for Gen-Zers, Gen-Xers, and boomers, TransUnion said.

Read more: Opinion: Pandemic makes combatting mortgage and title fraud more important than ever

Vigilance against digital fraud attempts has become more crucial during the pandemic era. Earlier this year, a Pollara Strategic Insights survey for the Canadian Association of Financial Institutions in Insurance (CAFII) found that 84% of Canadians have become more comfortable conducting online financial transactions due to the pandemic.

Only 36% of respondents said that they are planning to return to physical offices or branches for these transactions once the pandemic is over.

“While the pandemic has and will continue to change the way that people conduct financial transactions in Canada, we are pleased to see consumers are adapting well to their new reality, and that our industry’s customer satisfaction levels have been up to the challenge,” said Keith Martin, co-executive director of CAFII. “We also appreciate the value that Canadians place on the availability of in-person service, and their confidence in the people working in financial services who provide it.”