Unsolicited Calls and Messages Affect Most British Columbians

More than a third of the province’s  residents received a text asking about their support for a party or policy.

Vancouver, BC [September 27, 2019] – A significant proportion of British Columbians recently had to deal with unsolicited text messages and calls on their mobile phone, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative sample of British Columbians, 37% of respondents say that, over the course of the past two months, they received text messages asking them if they support a specific party or policy sent by an individual they do not know.

Men (42%) and British Columbians aged 18-to-34 (44%) are more likely to report getting text messages of a political nature from unknown senders.

A similar proportion of British Columbians (35%) received phone calls and/or phone messages from an individual purporting to represent a government agency (such as the Canada Revenue Agency).

Women (36%) and Metro Vancouverites (39%) are more likely to have received calls or messages from a scammer over the past two months.

Three-in-ten British Columbians (31%) say they received phone calls or messages over the past two months where an individual speaks Cantonese or Mandarin, including 42% of those who reside in Metro Vancouver.

“Younger British Columbians appear to be more affected by unsolicited phone calls and messages than their older counterparts,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “While only 40% of residents aged 55 and over say they did not receive any of the three types of calls or messages included in the survey, the proportion falls to 25% among those aged 35-to-54 and 20% among those aged 18-to-34.”

More than a third of British Columbians (37%) have reported an unwanted call or phone number to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (formerly known as PhoneBusters).

British Columbians aged 18-to-34 (46%), men (43%) and residents of both Northern BC (47%) and the Fraser Valley (44%) are more likely to have contacted the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre to report an unwanted call or number.


Results are based on an online study conducted from September 11 to September 14, 2019, among 800 adults in British Columbia. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in British Columbia. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

Find our full data set here and download the press release here. 

For more information on this poll, please contact:

Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.
[e] mario.canseco@researchco.ca