Canadians Worry About Rising Fraud Risks – RBC Poll

Toronto, ON (CNW) As the use of artificial intelligence (AI) increases, fraudsters are using it more and more in their scams, and Canadians are taking notice. According to RBC’s annual Fraud Prevention Month Poll, 75% of respondents are more concerned about fraud than ever before. Nine in ten Canadians also believe the use of AI will increase scam attempts over the next year (88%) and could make everyone more vulnerable to fraud (89%).

Awareness is the first step in combating AI-related scams

According to the poll, four in five Canadians believe that AI will make fraud attempts by phone harder to detect (81%) and are concerned about voice cloning and impersonation scams (81%).

“With the recent rise in voice cloning and deepfakes, fraudsters are able to employ a new level of sophistication to phone and online scams,” says Kevin Purkiss, vice president, Fraud Management, RBC. “The good news is that awareness of these types of scams is high, but we also need to take action to safeguard ourselves from fraudsters.”

The research also found that phishing (generic scams through email or text), spear phishing (emails or texts that look legitimate) and vishing (targeted phone or voicemail scams) continue to rank in the top three types of fraud. More than half also say they have seen an increase in deepfake scams (56%), and almost half (47%) say voice cloning scams are on the rise.

Trends in social engineering, social media targeting and fraud spotting

  • More than half of poll respondents (57%) have seen an increase in social engineering scams with three quarters (76%) expressing concern about them. Four in five (82%) believe these scams will increase as people deal with economic challenges.
  • More than half (53%) say they are being targeted by fraudsters more than ever through social media.
  • Canadians may be overestimating their ability to spot the signs of AI-enabled fraud. Almost two thirds of respondents (64%) feel confident about recognizing an AI-enabled scam developed by fraudsters.
  • There has been a decrease in respondents proactively keeping themselves safe, with only 28% recently taking added steps to protect themselves (down from 36% in 2023).

“As criminals continue to evolve their scams with new technology, your first defence is to remain vigilant and take additional steps to protect yourself,” adds Purkiss.

RBC recommends three tips to stay ahead of fraudsters

  1. Keep your guard up. Set up alerts on your accounts, enable multi-factor authentication whenever possible and use the RBC Mobile App as your primary banking tool. Remember to be on the lookout for impersonation scams, with criminals pretending to be trusted sources, like government, bank staff, law enforcement or even a family member. Some experts also recommend having a personal password among loved ones to verify that you’re speaking to the right person.
  2. Avoid sharing personal information. Be cautious about what you share on social media and keep your voicemail generic and short to deter robo-callers trying to capture your name or voice. Ignore or delete unsolicited emails and texts asking for your information or containing suspicious links or money schemes.
  3. Never feel pressured to respond. Have you received an urgent request from a seemingly official source asking you to move or send money and share your confidential information? Stay calm and resist the temptation to act. Does the offer seem too good to be true? If so, it’s likely a scam.

To learn more about the measures RBC takes to prevent fraud and how you can report it, please visit How RBC Keeps You Safe from Fraud.

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