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Crime Severity Index increase in Moncton area provoked by fraud: Statistics Canada

Click to play video 'Report says fraud a factor in Moncton rising crime rates' Report says fraud a factor in Moncton rising crime rates
WATCH: According to Statscan, the police-reported crime stats severity rating for the Moncton Metropolitan area shot up by 15 per cent in 2018. Callum Smith explains – Jul 26, 2019

According to Statistics Canada’s police-reported crime stats, the Crime Severity Index (CSI) shot up by 15 per cent in the Moncton census metropolitan area in 2018.

“[CSI is] just a way to measure how crime is being reported across Canada,” says Insp. Luc Breton, of the Codiac Regional RCMP.

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.

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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.”

Erin King, a senior education coordinator with Financial and Consumer Services Commission, says identity fraud and romance scams were two of the top forms of scams in 2018. Andrew Cromwell / Global News

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.”

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“According to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, New Brunswickers reported losing $1.1 million to frauds and scams in 2018,” says King.

WATCH: Fraud is fastest-growing business for organized crime

Click to play video 'Fraud is fastest-growing business for organized crime' Fraud is fastest-growing business for organized crime
Fraud is fastest-growing business for organized crime – Jul 8, 2019

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.

“[My wife] got a call saying that she’d have to pay the remaining of the income tax that we (were) supposed to have, and she gave her social security number by mistake,” says Moncton resident Guy Landry.
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Moncton resident Guy Landry says he reported an incident that saw his wife scammed and they were able to prevent further fraud activities. Callum Smith / Global News

Another resident, Daniel Leger, says he’s noticed an increase in suspected-scam activity.

“[There have been] a lot more phone calls and emails that appear to be coming from somewhere suspicious,” he says. “It’s harder to trust information coming in to see exactly what’s real and what’s an attempt to defraud you.”

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.”

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READ MORE: Rates of violent crime against women in the North triple those in rest of Canada

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.”

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