TransUnion Canada data shows large increase in suspected frauds relating to three major industries
Fraud and scams are unfortunately frequently part of everyday life thanks to the prevalence of digital platforms that often prove easy to imitate.
New data from TransUnion Canada shows that 49% of Canadians were targeted by scams in the first half of 2023, with a 40% rise in suspected fraud attempts originating in Canada and targeting global companies compared to the same period last year.
Three industries saw the largest increases in attempted fraud: telecoms (up 400% year-over-year), insurance (up 90%), and online communities including dating and forums (up 75%). Financial services was also heavily targeted with a 72% increase.
Logistics, retail, and online gaming all saw a decrease in digital fraud attempts year-over-year.
“There are a number of important considerations to take into account when attempting to measure the impact of digital fraud on any one particular industry,” said Patrick Boudreau, head of identity management and fraud solutions at TransUnion Canada. “Certain factors must be considered, such as the overall size and rate of growth of different industries. Not only to contextualize fraud related data, but also to anticipate where fraudsters may continue to focus their efforts going forward.”
Most common fraud attempts
The research also highlighted the three most common methods of fraud attempts:
- Phishing at 47% (fraudulent emails, websites, social posts, QR codes, etc. meant to steal data)
- Vishing at 43% (fraudulent phones calls meant to trick you into revealing data)
- Smishing at 41% (fraudulent text messages meant to trick you into revealing data)
“Given the prevalence of fraudulent scams targeting Canadians, and the reality that fraudsters are ever more sophisticated and are constantly evolving to attempt to overcome digital security measures, it’s critical that Canadians take steps to protect themselves,” said Boudreau. “From safeguarding sensitive information, to protecting physical wallets and cards, and leveraging credit report monitoring, there are a number of easy steps consumers can undertake day to day.”
Among the other ways to mitigate fraud risk, TransUnion recommends limiting the number of credit cards held and closing inactive accounts, avoiding replicating passwords across multiple accounts, and regularly checking credit reports for signs of fraudulent activity.