Canadians are noticing an increase in fraudulent activity leveraging AI in scam attempts, according to a new poll. 

RBC’s Fraud Prevention Month Poll, released Thursday, found that 56 per cent of respondents reported seeing an increase in deepfake scams, while another 47 per cent indicated voice cloning scams were increasing. The poll also found that scams through email or text as well as targeted phone or voicemail scams were ranked among the most highly observed types of fraud. 

“With the recent rise in voice cloning and deepfakes, fraudsters are able to employ a new level of sophistication to phone and online scams,” Kevin Purkiss, the vice president of Fraud Management at RBC, said in a press release Thursday. 

“The good news is that awareness of these types of scams is high, but we also need to take action to safeguard ourselves from fraudsters.”

The poll found 81 per cent of Canadians surveyed expressed fears that AI will make it harder to detect fraud attempts through the phone, while another 81 per cent said they are concerned about voice cloning and impersonation scams. 

“As criminals continue to evolve their scams with new technology, your first defence is to remain vigilant and take additional steps to protect yourself,” Purkiss said. 

Other findings included that 75 per cent of respondents indicated they are more concerned than ever about the potential for fraud. Additionally, the release said 88 per cent indicated they believe the use of AI will lead to a rise in scam attempts over the next year and another 89 per cent said that everyone will be “more vulnerable to fraud.” 

According to the poll, Canadians could overestimate their ability to identify the signs of AI-enabled fraud, with 64 per cent saying they “feel confident” about recognizing attempts of this kind. 


New Canadians 

Last week, results from a Scotiabank Fraud Poll found that new Canadians took stronger measures to protect themselves against fraudulent activity when compared with Canadian citizens and residents. 

The poll found that adults who arrived in Canada during the last decade were 47 per cent more likely to discuss fraud prevention within their community. Newcomers were also found to be 46 per cent more likely to use a password management app and 16 per cent more likely to frequently update passwords. 

“When it comes to financial fraud, everyone is a target, particularly individuals who may be in vulnerable positions such as newcomers to Canada,” Tammy McKinnon, a senior vice president of global fraud management at Scotiabank, said in a press release last week. 


RBC’s Fraud Prevention Month Poll was conducted between Jan. 15 to Jan. 19 among Canadian adults who were members of an online Angus Reid Forum. It was commissioned by RBC and offered in both English and French. 

Scotiabank’s poll was conducted by Maru Public Opinion between Jan. 19 and Jan. 20 on behalf of Scotiabank, with a random selection of 3,026 Canadian adults who are Maru Voice Canada online panellists.