As Canadians, we often pride ourselves on our politeness. We are a nation of people who regularly go above and beyond to be kind and respectful, but sometimes that gets us in trouble, especially when it comes to fraud scams. Recent studies have shown that police-reported fraud scam rates have gone up in Canada by 15% - identity fraud, in particular, has gone up by 9% in Canada.
Although identity fraud is a pressing issue all over the globe, other countries seem to fare better against fraud and online scams, even as the scams continue to become more sophisticated and aggressive.
According to U. K’s Director of Privacy International Simon Davies, Europeans are far less likely to share their personal information with anyone unless they believe they have a very good reason to do so.
In contrast, Canadians and North Americans, in general, are looser when it comes to handing over their personal banking information. The sheer extent of some Canadians trustworthiness was famously exposed in Michael Moore’s acclaimed documentary Bowling For Columbine in which the filmmaker wanders around the streets of Toronto opening doors that haven’t been locked to prove a point.
A formal study done in 2008 revealed that both Canadians and Americans are pretty bad at locking their doors which may cancel out Moore’s original point, but it still stands as a pretty clear indicator that North Americans are trusting for the most part, at least when it comes to some areas of life.
In 2018 alone, Canadians lost over $121 million to fraud scams - a drastic rise when you consider that in 2016, the loss was an estimated $95 million. One of the most prominent scams affecting Canadians involves the scammers impersonating the CRA (Canadian Revenue Agency). The scams usually happen via email or by a phone call in which the imposters demand the individual's bank information to solve an urgent tax matter. Fraudsters will always insist on immediate action.
One thing is for sure, countries facing a more significant problem when it comes to fraud all have a strong economy and prefer to do their banking online. Online banking allows would be fraudsters enough leeway to steal from their victims without being immediately noticed.