We all play a role in helping reduce risk, prevent identity fraud and minimize loss in both our businesses and personal lives. As a lender, preventing identity fraud and theft in your business can help you acquire new clients and grow your credit portfolio.
According to a recent survey conducted by Equifax Canada for Fraud Prevention Month, you can help protect your business by educating your clients on how to spot identity fraud and prevent potential theft before it happens.
As the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way Canadians work, learn, shop, and interact, 70 per cent of those surveyed say they are screening their calls more to avoid calls from fraudsters. Sixty-three per cent say they’re receiving these calls more frequently since the beginning of the pandemic.
Sixty-nine per cent of Canadians surveyed are reviewing their credit card and bank statements more closely for signs of fraud. Notably, women, people aged 55+, and Quebecers are significantly more likely to check their statements more often for signs of identity fraud.
More than half of survey respondents (53 per cent) are changing their online passwords more often. “It can be as simple as creating a monthly reminder to change your passwords, double-checking financial statements, and shredding those documents versus putting them in the recycling where a dumpster diver could find them,” says Julie Kuzmic, Equifax Canada’s Senior Compliance Officer, Consumer Advocacy.
Checking your credit report remains one of the best ways to spot identity fraud. Roughly four-in-ten respondents are checking their credit reports more (45 per cent). Quebecers are significantly more likely to have checked their credit reports more often than people in other parts of Canada.
Not only are Quebecers more likely to have checked their credit reports more often, they also feel they are getting more fraudulent calls, and feel more at risk to theft and identity fraud compared to those in the rest of Canada.
Two-factor authentication is a method of verifying a person’s identity by using an additional factor such as sending a PIN via email or text. It is becoming more popular with 35 per cent of consumers using it now versus 26 per cent two years ago. Nearly eight-in-ten Canadian respondents (78 per cent) say they would be more likely to choose an organization/retailer that used multiple steps to protect their information against fraud.
While most Canadians (77 per cent) are taking multiple steps to protect their personal information, more than half wouldn’t know what to do if there was theft or identity fraud committed in their name. This presents a big opportunity for Canadian lenders to step into the spotlight and help educate their clients about how to spot identity fraud as well as help minimize risk and loss in your business.
We want to help Canadians live their financial best. If you want to learn more about how understanding fraud trends can help acquire more customers, minimize portfolio risk and reduce loss related to fraud, please contact your Equifax Account Representative. You can also reach us directly at 1-855-233-9226 and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.
Source: Equifax Canada Survey for Fraud Prevention Month
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