senior man giving credit card details on the phone

Canadians are more worried about fraud and identity theft today than they were five years ago, according to the results of a survey commissioned by Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada).

Seven in 10 survey respondents said they were more concerned about fraud than they were a few years back, and nearly the same number (69%) said they were more concerned about identity theft than they were five years ago.

Canadians were well aware of the existence of identity theft (86%) and credit card (86%), email (79%) and telemarketing fraud (73%), but were less conscious of other forms of fraud, CPA Canada says, including cell phone, lottery and mortgage fraud.

In fact, some Canadians are so worried about credit card fraud, that they refuse to use their cards with particular merchants (39%).

“Taking action to thwart fraudsters is to be applauded,” Doretta Thompson, CPA Canada’s financial literacy leader, says in a statement. “Even as technology advances to make our lives easier with things like thumbprint, voice and facial recognition, we cannot afford to let our guard down. Each of us must continue to be personally diligent because the threat of fraud is constant.”

Some of the actions Canadians are taking include: reviewing bank statements once a month (86%), shredding personal documents before disposing of them (79%) and covering the pin pad at an ATM or store (71%).

CPA Canada says there is still room for improvement, though. Public Wi-Fi, for example, can pose a threat, but only 18% of Canadians are using a virtual proxy network (VPN) to protect their information.