One-Quarter Of Canadian Adults (24%) Have Been Touched By Identity Theft: Ipsos-Reid

Seven In Ten (71%) Express Concern That Their Identity May Be Stolen And Used For Fraudulent Means – But Many Behaving Carelessly When It Comes To Discarding Sensitive Personal Or Financial Documents

March 7, 2006 Toronto, ON – A new Ipsos Reid survey conducted on behalf of Fellowes Canada Ltd, reveals that one-quarter of Canadian adults (24%) – representing approximately 5.7 million Canadians nationally – have either themselves personally (4%), or know someone who has (20%), been subject to identity theft.

Given the widespread reach of identity theft among Canadians, it follows then that a good majority (71%) are concerned about the fact that their �identity may be stolen and used for fraudulent means by criminals for financial gain�.

But while most are concerned about identity theft, many Canadians appear to behaving somewhat carelessly when it comes to this issue. When asked how often they throw out junk mail without reading it, a majority of Canadians (81%) admit to either �always� (16%), �regularly� (42%), or �sometimes� (24%) doing so. Only 19% say they �never do so�. And further, one in ten Canadians (12%) say that if they received an unsolicited credit card application or pre-approved cheques from a credit card company, that they would put them in the garbage as is.

This behaviour is common despite the fact that 94% of Canadians are aware that �criminals could steal your identity and use if for fraudulent means simply by using discarded sensitive personal or financial documents�. Three-quarters (74%) express interest in knowing more about how to protect their identity from being stolen (30% say they are very interested). One-quarter (26%) say they are not interested (5% not at all interested).

Of those who don�t have a paper shredder, three in ten (28%) say they are �very likely� (11%) or �quite likely� (17%) to buy one for their home in the next 12 months in order to destroy sensitive or personal financial documents. But 72% say they are unlikely to purchase one (37% �very unlikely�).

These are the findings of an Ipsos Reid poll conducted for Fellowes Canada Ltd and fielded from February 10th to February 13th 2006. For the survey, a representative sample of 1078 adult Canadians were interviewed via an on-line survey vehicle. The sample used in this study has been weighted according to Census data to accurately reflect the population of Canadians. With a sample of this size, the aggregate results are considered accurate to within �3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had this entire population been polled. The margin of error will be larger within each sub-grouping of the survey population.


Ipsos-Reid is Canada’s market intelligence leader and the country�s leading provider of public opinion research. With operations in eight cities, Ipsos-Reid employs more than 300 researcher professionals and support staff in Canada. The company has the biggest network of telephone call centres in Canada, as well as the largest pre-recruited household and on-line panels. Ipsos-Reid�s Canadian marketing research and public affairs practices are staffed with seasoned research consultants with extensive industry-specific backgrounds, offering the premier suite of research vehicles in Canada�including the Ipsos Trend Report, the leading source of public opinion in the country�all of which provide clients with actionable and relevant information. Ipsos-Reid is an Ipsos company, a leading global survey-based market research group.

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