February 27, 2013
Fraud Prevention Month survey finds young people oversharing, putting themselves at risk of payment card fraud
TORONTO — Visa Canada has found a significant number of young Canadians who regularly post personal information on social network sites are putting themselves at unnecessary risk by mirroring similar oversharing behaviour offline with their payment card information.
Survey results found that almost half (45 per cent) of 18-34 year olds reported taking risks with their payment card information, such as loaning their card to someone or sharing their payment card information over email, phone or text. Individuals in this age group also reported the highest level of online sharing activities, including keeping an open profile on a social network site, posting to a social media site at least once a day, publically sharing photos and posting their employment history online.
Among those aged 35 and older, a significantly lower number of respondents (32 per cent) reported taking risks with their payment card information. This group also reported less sharing of personal information online.
‘While Canadians as a whole are becoming more aware of fraud risks, many are still engaging in risky behaviours when it comes to payment cards – and young Canadians are especially vulnerable because they are so used to sharing personal information online,” said Gord Jamieson, Head of Payment System Risk. “But many young people don’t realize they are putting themselves at risk for fraud when they share their personal payment card information, both online and offline.”
Survey results show that oversharing financial information can indeed leave individuals vulnerable to fraud. Among respondents who reported engaging in risky behaviour, 43 per cent had experienced some form of payment card fraud. Conversely, among those who had not engaged in risky behaviour, only 19 per cent had been victims.
The survey also showed that few Canadians are taking simple steps to stay ahead of fraudsters. Just 10 per cent check their credit report on an annual basis, only 17 per cent have set up alerts to monitor card activity and most surprisingly, less than half (41 per cent) report checking their payment card statement more than once a month.
“Fraud Prevention Month provides a good opportunity to remind cardholders that simple actions can help prevent fraud and catch criminals in the act,” noted Jamieson. “One easy step is to set up alerts that let you know via text or email every time your payment card is used. Check to see if your Visa issuer offers alerts or set them up through our new digital wallet, V.me by Visa to stay on top of what’s being charged to your Visa card, in near real time.”
To counter the culture of oversharing and help cardholders understand their role in preventing fraud, Visa Canada created an interactive ‘choose your own adventure’ video, designed to entertain and educate cardholders about the choices they make with their payment cards.
“Every day, often without realizing it, people make decisions that can either put them at risk of fraud or help keep them safe,” said Jamieson. “What we’ve done with this video is create a fun, entertaining way to remind Canadians of the potential consequences of sharing your payment card information with a friend or posting too much information online.”
The video, “The Concert”, challenges participants to think about the choices they make around everyday behaviours with their payment card, and potential consequences. Available online at www.theconcertbyvisa.ca as well as Visa Security Sense (www.visasecuritysense.ca) and on Visa Canada’s Facebook page, the video reminds cardholders that they, too, have a role to play in protecting their payment cards. To follow the conversation on Twitter use the hashtag #GuardYourCard.
Visa's approach to fraud prevention is based on the belief that the best way to fight fraud is to employ multiple layers of security. Visa continually develops new technologies and solutions to help combat fraud, including Chip and PIN, Zero Liability and Verified by Visa. More information about these fraud prevention measures can be found at www.visasecuritysense.ca.