How Interac is equipping Canadians with the 1-2 punch to fight fraud

Tuesday 30 April 2024 10:08 CET | Editor: Mirela Ciobanu | Interview

Joanna Schoneveld, Interac’s Fraud Management Leader, discusses how blending traditional boxing moves with fraud-fighting tips can help Canadians defend themselves against scams.


As Canada's tech-celeration offers more opportunities for fraudsters to strike, a recent survey by Interac Corp. (Interac) revealed that over nine in 10 Canadians (91 %) have experienced digital fraud attempts in just the past six months. Despite nearly seven in 10 (69 %) Canadians believing they are familiar with the signs of fraud, only 36 % of respondents find scam attempts easy to spot. With this challenge in mind, Interac is stepping into the ring with Fraud Fighters, a fresh approach to fraud education.


What are the main types of fraud encountered in banking and ecommerce in Canada?

According to a recent Interac survey, Canadians polled identified the top three digital fraud attempts as receiving an unexpected text or call from an unknown number (67 %), receiving a suspicious email (66 %), and receiving a text about a parcel or package that needed to be confirmed or have duties paid (59 %). 


What are the challenges of spotting and fighting them?

Canadians’ rapid adoption of new technology has led to an increase in touchpoints for banking and payment systems, creating new opportunities for financial scams. In fact, according to the survey, more than 90 % (91 %) of Canadians said that they have experienced a digital fraud attempt in the past 6 months.

Part of the challenge is that while nearly 70 % (69 %) of Canadians think that they are familiar with the signs of fraud, only 36 % think fraud attempts are easy to spot. As fraud has become more complex and its indicators less obvious, it’s critical for Canadians to improve their defences to help combat even the newest form of fraud attempts. 


What tech solutions are in place? Do you have public-private partnerships?

At Interac, we invest in ongoing fraud and security education to help Canadians recognise and protect themselves from fraud. We also work alongside the financial ecosystem, including financial institutions, regulators, law enforcement, fraud experts, and industry stakeholders to help protect Canadian consumers and businesses and empower them to defend themselves against fraud. 

With digital scam attempts facing people with increasing frequency and sophistication, we have the expertise to empower Canadians to spot the signs and remain vigilant. 


Could you please share more about Interac’s Fraud Fighters initiative?

With 75 % of Canadians surveyed believing that financial institutions should do more to protect them from fraud, Interac offered a curated Fraud Fighters self-defence experience that blended traditional boxing moves with tips to help Canadians defend themselves against fraud.

A 2021 study suggested that even a single workout can improve our ability to recall information versus simply reading instructions or hearing advice. By incorporating physical activity into the learning process, Interac is aiming to provide an effective and memorable experience for participants so that fraud prevention tips can always be top of mind.

With this unique combination, Interac is not only equipping participants with traditional self-defence moves but is also responding to Canadians’ calls to do more in arming them with the knowledge to fight fraud. Additionally, fraud prevention education and resources are available to all Canadians at


Can you please share some best practices in fraud prevention?

As a trusted resource for Canadians to defend themselves against fraud all year round, Interac recommends using the ‘Three S Approach’ when faced with financial fraud: Stop, Scrutinise, and Speak Up.

Just as physical self-defence involves taking a moment to assess the situation and follow your instincts, Interac is advising Canadians to Stop, think, and follow their instincts when they encounter a request for personal information. A trained boxer scrutinises their opponent for signs of deception. To protect yourself, it is important to Scrutinise for signs of scams and be aware of common fraud, including unexpected phone calls, emails, or text messages. Similar to how someone who has been trained in self-defence calls for help when they are in danger, Interac encourages Canadians to Speak Up and seek help when faced with suspected fraudulent attacks or scam attempts to help defend themselves and others.

Those who experience a fraud attempt should report any instances of fraud or suspicious activity to appropriate authorities in real-time, such as the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre or to their financial institution.


On background regarding survey methodology: Hill & Knowlton used the Leger Opinion online panel to survey 1,500 Canadians over the period of February 23rd to 28th, 2024. Sampling was done within age, gender, and region quotas. The length of the survey was 5 minutes. Data was weighted on age, gender, and region according to 2021 census figures. An associated margin of error for a randomly selected sample of n=1,500 would be ±2.5%, 19 times out of 20.


About Joanna Schoneveld

Joanna Schoneveld, is the Leader of Fraud Product Management at Interac Corp. In this capacity, she leads a group of fraud management experts who are responsible for safeguarding the organisation and Canadians based on their knowledge to prevent, detect, and address fraud with a deep understanding of emerging threats.  Her role includes developing and implementing strong prevention strategies that are embedded within Interac’s product line of businesses, and by reaching out to the community to ensure customers are armed with the information they need to keep themselves safe. 

About Interac Corp.

Interac empowers Canadians to transact digitally with confidence by providing payment and value exchange services. In helping to develop the future of money and data in Canada, security is the core of everything we do. We help keep Canadian customers safe and secure when transacting. With nearly 300 financial institutions connected to our network, Canadians choose Interac products over 20 million times a day on average to exchange money. Interac champions workplace culture, community, and corporate citizenship. We are proud to be one of Canada’s leading and most trusted financial brands.

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Keywords: fraud detection, fraud prevention, online banking, mobile banking, scam
Categories: Fraud & Financial Crime
Companies: Interac
Countries: World
This article is part of category

Fraud & Financial Crime


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