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Vast majority of Canadians say phone, email and text scams are just a "fact of life": CIBC

With over half of Canadians experiencing fraud attempts at least once a month, vigilance is key to prevention

TORONTO, March 5, 2018 /CNW/ - CIBC (TSX: CM) (NYSE: CM) – A new CIBC poll finds that more than three-quarters of Canadians (77 per cent) were targeted by fraudsters, either by phone, email, text, or skimming, with more than half (56 per cent) experiencing it at least once a month, prompting the need for consumers to be aware and alert to potential threats.

As many as 85 per cent consider financial fraud "a fact of life in the age of digital information." Fraud by email is the most prevalent type of financial fraud, experienced by 70 per cent of Canadians surveyed. The next most common forms were phone fraud (42 per cent), text fraud (37 per cent), and device-based fraud (14 per cent). Text fraud is the No. 2 most prevalent fraud type among the 18-to-34-year-old age group behind email.

"Awareness is the first step to fraud prevention," says Norah McCarthy, Senior Vice President, Retail Transaction Fraud and Client Account Management, CIBC. "Our poll results show that constant vigilance is the best way to protect yourself. Fraud comes in many forms and can have serious consequences if you don't take steps to protect yourself. Protecting yourself begins with recognizing and reporting fraud when you see it."

Ms. McCarthy points out that signing up for free fraud alerts with your bank and learning about how you can report instances of attempted fraud can help protect you and others.

"CIBC takes fraud very seriously. We continuously monitor client accounts and work to protect our clients from fraudulent activity," says Ms. McCarthy. "We also recommend clients take security precautions and monitor their accounts regularly for any unusual or suspicious activity."

Protecting our elders

The poll showed that 75 per cent  of Canadians wish there was more they could do to protect their elderly parents from financial fraud and two-thirds (66 per cent) are concerned their elderly parents will be targeted.

"It's important to have candid conversations with your parents about protecting their finances and making sure they're aware of and recognize potential frauds," says Ms. McCarthy. "In some cases, it might make sense to have a financial Power of Attorney arrangement in place to not only ensure accounts and funds are properly used but also to mitigate against fraud."

Below are some key fraud prevention tips and more can be found on CIBC's website here:

  1. Register for fraud alerts to receive real-time fraud alerts from your bank. Contact your bank immediately if you get a message about a potential fraud.
  2. Don't share your PIN, Password or One Time Verification codes. Only you should know this information. If you think someone else knows your PIN number, change it immediately. Never use an obvious PIN number.
  3.  Always use a unique password for banking. Protect your PIN number, passwords, card and account numbers. Use different passwords for your credit card and bank accounts. Banks will never request personal information, PINs or passwords by email.
  4. Only use secure websites when making an online purchase. Secure websites have the prefix "https" and show a padlock. Provide personal information only if you have initiated contact and know who you are dealing with.
  5. Never give credit card, online account, or personal information over the phone unless you initiated the call and verified the merchant is reputable.
  6. Regularly check your statements, online accounts and banking apps to verify your transactions. Report any inaccuracies immediately.
  7. Always be cautious when receiving unsolicited emails or opening email attachments from senders you don't know. They are either phishing emails or can contain malicious software.
  8. Beware of telephone calls from people asking you to take urgent action to fix or do something and request your personal information to do it. Some scammers will say your computer is infected and ask for your password to "fix" it.

March is National Fraud Prevention Month

March is National Fraud Prevention Month and CIBC is pleased to participate and help governments, law enforcement and the Canadian Bankers Association raise awareness about ways all consumers can recognize, reject and report fraud. To learn more about how CIBC protects client information please click here and to set up free CIBC fraud monitoring alerts click here.

Key Poll Findings:

  • 77 per cent of all Canadians have experienced a financial fraud attempt
  • 56 per cent experience attempts regularly, at least once per month
  • 48 per cent ignore these attempts, and 34 per cent will only speak to family and friends but do nothing else because they say it "happens too often to report it every time".
  • 85 per cent of Canadians said that financial fraud is a fact of life in the age of digital information
  • 57 per cent of Canadians said they are very worried about becoming a victim of financial fraud
  • 75 per cent of Canadians said they wish there was more they could do to protect their elderly parents from financial fraud

Percentage of Canadians who experience the following types of fraud, and frequency: 

Type of fraud

Any type
of fraud





Ever been targeted

77 %

70 %

42 %

37 %

14 %

Frequency (Monthly)

56 %

53 %

44 %

31 %

23 %


About the 2018 Fraud Behaviour Poll:

From Feb. 16 to Feb. 18, 2018, an online survey was conducted among 1,515 randomly selected Canadian adults who are Angus Reid Forum panellists. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 2.5%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been statistically weighted according to education, age, gender and region (and in Quebec, language) Census data to ensure a sample representative of the entire adult population of Canada. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

About CIBC

CIBC is a leading Canadian-based global financial institution with 11 million personal banking, business, public sector and institutional clients. Across Personal and Small Business Banking, Commercial Banking and Wealth Management, and Capital Markets businesses, CIBC offers a full range of advice, solutions and services through its leading digital banking network, and locations across Canada, in the United States and around the world. Ongoing news releases and more information about CIBC can be found at or by following on LinkedIn (, Twitter @CIBC, Facebook ( and Instagram @CIBCNow.

SOURCE CIBC - Consumer Research and Advice

For further information: Jason Wesley, CIBC Communications & Public Affairs, 416-408-9507 or