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Survey: Fraud

Nearly one in three a financial fraud victim

TORONTO - Almost a third (32 per cent) of those participating in a national survey conducted for Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada) have been a victim of financial fraud at some point in their life.

According to the latest survey, credit card fraud (cited by 67 per cent of those victimized) and debit card fraud (referenced by 29 per cent of the victims) are the top two types of fraud encountered. That order is consistent with the 2014 findings.

Noteworthy this year, was a sharp jump in the number of victims referencing online fraud. It was reported by 16 per cent of the victims compared with just six per cent in 2014.

"In this electronic era, accessing information and doing business online is easy," says Cairine Wilson, vice-president, corporate citizenship, CPA Canada. "But Canadians need to recognize that with the convenience there is also risk. Being armed with enough knowledge to identify the potential risk is what's going to help you navigate the rapid advances in online fraud."

The 2015 national survey found that almost half (48 per cent) of all respondents who access the Internet stated they were uncomfortable making online purchases. Of those who have shopped online, 49 per cent claimed they spend $500 or more in an average year making online purchases. The number of survey respondents expressing discomfort with online purchases climbed with age.

Additional 2015 findings:

• A strong majority (70 per cent) of those surveyed are very concerned about identity theft

• 47 per cent of respondents fear that someone has personal information about them that they should not be in possession of

• Survey participants were asked what payment method they used most often. The top three responses were debit cards (44 per cent), credit cards (30 per cent) and cash (20 per cent)

The 2015 CPA Canada Fraud Survey was conducted by Nielsen via telephone between February 5 and February 9, 2015, with a national random sample of 1,006 adult Canadians aged 18 years and over and is considered accurate to within ± 3.1per cent, 19 times out of 20.

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