StatsCan says an important factor in the increase is due to fraud.
“We realize that as the city grows, a number of different activities grow,” says Charles Leger, a city councillor and the chair of the Codiac Regional Policing Authority.
But one organization is hopeful the increase in numbers isn’t an increase in activity, but rather an increase in the reporting of it.
“Ninety-five per cent of frauds go unreported,” says Erin King, a senior education coordinator with the Financial and Consumer Services Commission in Saint John.
“A lot of that is because victims are often too embarrassed to report the scam.”
RCMP say seniors are a vulnerable population when it comes to fraud.
And with evolving technology, people are becoming more “creative in terms of how to defraud people,” says Insp. Breton. “As a result of that, our fraud cases went up.”
“According to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, New Brunswickers reported losing $1.1 million to frauds and scams in 2018,” says King.
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Some of the more common types of scams include emails, some of which say they’re from the Canada Revenue Agency, saying you have money to be deposited, but that you need to have your debit or credit card available.
Other methods can include a simple phone call.
Another resident, Daniel Leger, says he’s noticed an increase in suspected-scam activity.
According to the Financial and Consumer Services Commission, two of the top scams in 2018 consisted of identity fraud and romance scams.
“They lure the people in, thinking that there was a romantic relationship there,” says King. “The next thing you know, they’re starting to ask for money.”
RCMP are asking you to contact them if you’ve been a victim of any form of crime.
They say they’re continuing to educate the public about fraud. But despite the increase, Insp. Breton says it’s still a safe community.
“We’re talking about fraud here, we’re not talking about other serious crimes such as murders and stuff like that,” he says.
“Yes, it’s not good, but again, fraud is kind of the new trend.”