Identity theft is the fastest growing crime of the 21st century, as millions of people each year either experience it for the first time, or are going through the trouble of cleaning up their identity once again. Identity theft ranges from opening credit cards and bank accounts to even using identities for cryptocurrency. Edmontonians especially have seen a rise in the amount of identity theft reports.
The climbing rate has been scary, as a 10 percent increase each year has become normal. Some might be simple scams over the phone where someone tries to collect information to use, while more advanced hackers can steal card information. The Edmonton Police Department’s Cyber Crimes Investigation Unit says that the fraudsters have “evolved,” and are no longer looking for gift cards that are hard to trace back. Instead, cryptocurrency is now the preferred method, with the EPS says shouldn’t be accepted as a form of payment for citizens.
New residents of Edmonton are especially at risk, according to Constable Kyle Pepper. He urges that Edmontonians check their credit history regularly to see if any new accounts have been opened, and contact authorities at the first sign of identity theft. If caught early, the repair to your identity and credit becomes much easier, and increasingly difficult if accounts you never knew about enter collections.