Canadians are being extremely targeted by fraudsters amid pandemic

Over the past year, Canadians were spending more money and time online than ever before

cybercriminals pandemic

Canadians are being extremely targeted by fraudsters amid pandemic. Source: pexels.com

According to the Royal Bank of Canada, cybercriminals are leveraging the pandemic to increasingly gain access to Canadians’ personal and financial data.

For instance, 44% of respondents have received a call from someone claiming to be from a reputable source, like a bank or government, asking for personal or financial information.

At the same time, 28% have been contacted by scammers who already had some of their personal information. The same percentage of people have been contacted by someone pretending to be from a legitimate source (work or law enforcement) asking them to buy retail gift cards and to pay for things like a fine or fee.

The survey also found that 10% of the respondents have been contacted about a fraudulent job offer or investment opportunity. They have received an email or text directing them to a fake website related to COVID-19 as well.

COVID-19 has created the perfect environment for fraudsters to try to gain access to Canadians’ personal and financial information. This includes an increase in phishing scams as people continue to spend more time online, whether shopping, using social media, or searching for information about the pandemic, making it more likely to click on or respond to fraudulent requests
Jason Storsley, Vice-President, Fraud Management, RBC

While 24% say they have taken added steps since the start of the pandemic to protect their personal and financial data from fraud, many Canadians are still putting their information at risk.

The research found that 34% have used the same password for online or mobile banking as they use for other online accounts (rising to 44% for ages 18-34).

28% of the Canadians have logged into online or mobile banking while using public Wi-Fi (41% for ages 18-34). Meanwhile, 23% have sent an email money transfer and used a security question that is easy to guess (38% for ages 18-34).

According to data, 15% of the respondents have used personal information, such as a birthday, address, or phone number, for their online or mobile banking password (18% for ages 18-34).

We’ve reported that SEC charged individuals with $11 million digital asset frauds.

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