Posthaste: Gen Z less worried about fraud, identity theft than older generations | #phishing | #scams


Almost 30% of Gen Z say that identity theft is not likely to happen to them: survey

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Good morning!

While most Canadians agree fraud and identity theft is a serious issue, a recent poll reveals that younger adults, namely gen Z, are the least concerned.

Ninety per cent of the general population see the issue as serious; only 75 per cent of Canadians aged 18 to 24 think so.

And Equifax, the consumer credit reporting agency that conducted the survey, finds that worrying.

“It’s very clear that better communication is needed to warn younger generations about the dangers associated with fraud and identity theft,” said Julie Kuzmic, Equifax Canada’s senior compliance officer of consumer advocacy, in a release. “Criminals engaged in this type of crime can be quick to prey upon people who don’t have their defences up.”

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Twenty-nine per cent of gen-Z Canadians said identity theft was not likely to happen to them compared with 16 per cent of the general population.

The youngest generation of adults is also less likely to agree that they have a responsibility to protect their personal information (71 per cent versus 87 per cent), that companies need to do a better job in protecting that data (68 per cent versus 88 per cent), and that governments should increase penalties for fraud and identity theft (68 per cent versus 88 per cent).

Gen Z is significantly less likely to take steps to prevent fraud before it happens, the survey found.

They are less likely than older generations to screen calls (54 per cent versus 70 per cent), review credit card and bank statements (52 per cent versus 69 per cent), and change online passwords (43 per cent versus 53 per cent).

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However, gen-Z Canadians are more likely (47 per cent) than the general population (45 per cent) to check credit reports for suspicious activity. Kuzmic said doing this routinely is one of the best ways to prevent and detect crime.

Canadians as a whole are taking more care to protect their personal information, Equifax said. Thirty-five per cent of consumers are now using two-factor authentication compared to 26 per cent two years ago.

“It’s encouraging to see more people recognizing the need to better protect their personal information,” said Kuzmic. “Consumers seem to be realizing it’s in their interest to play a more active role in protecting their personal data.”

However, more than half (56 per cent) said they would not know what to do if there was a fraud committed in their name. Gen-Z Canadians are also less likely to turn to credit bureaus for information.

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A majority (83 per cent) of Canadians and 73 per cent of gen Z agree that the government needs to do a better job educating them.

“Regardless of age, most people want their government to do a better job educating about fraud and identity theft,” said Kuzmic. She added that, “all generations and companies of all sizes should be doing their utmost to prevent and detect these crimes.”

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Today’s Posthaste was written by Noella Ovid, with additional reporting from The Canadian Press, Thomson Reuters and Bloomberg.

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