Edmonton

Strive to keep your identity private, Edmonton police urge

The city recorded 986 reports of identity fraud in 2019 with 161 victims reporting an overall loss of $1.03 million, say Edmonton police.

Over $1M lost to identity fraud in each of last two years in Edmonton

While 825 identity-fraud victims in Edmonton in 2019 didn't report a monetary loss, their personal and financial information was misused in a number of ways including credit cards being issued in their name. (Elise Amendola/The Associated Press)

The city recorded 986 reports of identity fraud in 2019 with 161 victims reporting an overall loss of $1.03 million, say Edmonton police.

While 825 victims didn't report a monetary loss, their personal and financial information was misused in a number of ways including:

  • credit cards issued in their name
  • vehicles or equipment purchased, leased or rented in their name
  • fake identification created using their name including healthcare cards, drivers licences, SIN cards, passports and medical insurance/healthcare coverage cards
  • bank accounts opened and loans acquired
  • PayPal and utility accounts
  • cell phone purchases and mobile phone accounts
  • email and social media accounts
  • account takeover: Apple, PayPal, mobile phone
  • change payroll deposit information

In most cases, victim's identification documents were stolen from a vehicle, police said in a news release Tuesday.

"Over 80 per cent of the identity fraud occurrences were related to people leaving utilities, identity and banking documents in their vehicle." 

Personal information is also lifted from documents tossed in the garbage, police said.

Canada Revenue Agency scams continue to be popular, police said in the release issued as part of fraud prevention month.

There were 72 CRA scams reported last year with losses of $286,150, down from 2018 when there were 196 CRA scams in 2018 with losses of $850, 497.

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