Turns out Canadians aren't quite as good at spotting online fraud as we thought we were.

The Director of Fraud Prevention and Partnerships with Interac, Rachel Jolicoeur, says their latest survey shows seven out of 10 Canadians said they could spot Internet fraud.

However the numbers tell a different story.

"We found that 96 per cent of them were unable to identify what was the safest option. And when you dig a little deeper it's not because they're not fraud savvy, it's because criminals are so sophisticated, they continually improve their technique."

Jolicoeur says phishing scammers will try to suck you in, by having you click on links or phoning numbers in what look like legit e-mails.

"What I recommend is don't call the number they give you. Look at the back of your banking card and there's a phone number there. Call them that way. Or log into your online banking. Again, not following the link, but by going to "my bank.com" and logging in that way."

She says your best line of defence is changing passwords, but she says you can take that one step farther, by switching to a "pass-phrase."

"And then every month we change out passwords from "password 1-2-3-4 to 1-2-4..." It's been proven that that's no longer safe. So, it takes criminals about three days to break into a password like that. However if you put a pass phrase like "I am in Calgary at 2019" that will actually take about a hundred years to break that passcode."

She says never click on links or open attachments from people you don't recognize.

If you can, check with the sender through a different means to make sure it's real.

Interac put out a release regarding their survey and some helpful suggestions for dealing with and recognizing fraud.

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 defence 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:

Trust your intuition: Fraudsters are constantly adapting their tactics so staying alert is your best defence. 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.

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).

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 [email protected] 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 visit www.interac.ca/fraudprevention.


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