21 Feb 2012

Equifax Canada reveals attempted fraud incidents in the financial sector amount to $650 million in 2011

Toronto, ON, Tuesday, February 21, 2012 – The dollar value of attempted fraudulent activity is staggering according to Equifax Canada’s application fraud data. Figures derived from Equifax’s fraud solution database for the financial sector reveal that there was more than $650 million in fraud incidents attempted across Canada in 2011.

"The greatest dollar value of attempted fraud activity was within mortgage applications, at over $400 million," says John Russo, Vice President, Legal Counsel and Chief Privacy Officer, Equifax Canada. "This staggering dollar figure illustrates the need for continued vigilance by financial institutions to reduce this threat to both consumers and lenders".

Other significant report findings include:

  • Approximately $1.7 million of attempted fraud activity was detected daily.
  • Fraud incidents attempted for Loan Applications amounted to $160 million, Deposit Account and Credit Card applications, totalled $48 million and $17 million, respectively.
  • Credit card application fraud incidents attempted accounted for more than 40 per cent of the total number of incidents attempted, but less than 3 per cent of the estimated total dollar value.
  • Mortgage application fraud incidents attempted accounted for 13 per cent of the total number of fraud incidents attempted, equating to two-thirds of the total estimated dollar value.
  • The highest relative fraud detection rates were in the months of April and May, while the lowest were in November and December.

Mr. Russo also advised that "for decades, Equifax has been in the business of fraud detection and prevention and our top priority is detecting fraud at the first possible instance, minimizing the number of legitimate consumers impacted by fraud, improving analytics to help our members stay nimble when detecting, combatting and responding to fraudsters’ illicit activities in this country and abroad."