Half of mobile phone users have been targeted by calls and messages where an individual speaks Cantonese or Mandarin.
Vancouver, BC [January 21, 2022] – The incidence of phone calls and messages from people pretending to represent a government agency has risen dramatically in British Columbia over the past two years, a new Research Co. poll has found.
In the online survey of a representative sample of British Columbians, 50% of mobile phone users say they have been targeted by these phone calls and messages in the past two months, up 15 points since a similar Research Co. poll conducted in September 2019.
Phone calls and/or phone messages from an individual purporting to represent a government agency (such as the Canada Revenue Agency) are more prevalent among men (52%) and British Columbians aged 35-to-54 (also 52%).
“Almost three-in-five mobile phone users in Vancouver Island (58%) report getting these scam calls recently,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “More than half of those who reside in Northern BC (54%) and Metro Vancouver (51%) also had to deal with these unwanted communications.”
Just over half of mobile phone users in British Columbia (51%) say they have received phone calls and/or phone messages where an individual speaks Cantonese or Mandarin in the past two months, up 20 points since September 2019.
More than three-in-five mobile phone users in Metro Vancouver (61%) have been exposed to calls or messages in Cantonese or Mandarin.
British Columbians of South Asian descent are more likely to report being targeted by these communications in a foreign language (70%) than their counterparts of East Asian (61%) and European (47%) origins.
Only 18% of mobile phone users in British Columbia received a text message asking if they support a specific party or policy from an individual they do not know in the past two months, down 19 points since 2019.
Across the province, only 28% of mobile phone users (+1) say they did not receive any of these types of messages in the past two months.
Results are based on an online study conducted from December 21 to December 23, 2021, among 800 adults in British Columbia. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.5 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty.
For more information on this poll, please contact:
Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.778.929.0490