Langley continues to have the dubious distinction of being the mail theft capital of Canada.
Recently, Canada Post revealed that Metro Vancouver has the highest occurrence of mail theft, with Langley being the current and longstanding hotspot.
Figures for 2013 from the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) show that the number of reported identity fraud victims was up by nearly 14 per cent over the previous year.
The trend has continued this year, suggesting people need to be more vigilant when it comes to protecting their confidential information.
According to the Langley RCMP crime analyst, in the week of Sept. 1 through 7, there were reports of five mail thefts, in Walnut Grove, north Langley, Willowbrook, Murrayville and 8 Avenue.
“That isn’t remarkably high compared to the days when there were up to 20 mail thefts in just one night,” said Cpl. Holly Marks. “Slowly Canada Post is replacing the community boxes in Langley and people are getting smarter about picking up their mail every day.”
A Langley man and woman in their 30s were recently charged with identity theft after police dismantled a major fraud operation based out of a rental house in north Langley.
In that case, a stolen Canada Post uniform was found along with 13,000 identities, identity making equipment and other fraud items.
The man arrested was already out on bail for doing the same thing in Burnaby.
Though efforts to increase the public’s awareness continue with full force, the number of Canadians falling prey to identity fraud is on the rise nearly 14 per cent over the previous year.
CAFC also estimates their statistics account for less than five per cent of actual fraudulent activity.
That upward trend has continued into 2014, with CAFC’s mid-year numbers suggesting that just as many people, if not more, will be defrauded this year. “Though the dollar value of losses is decreasing, what we really want to see is fewer people victimized,” said Lindzee Herring, assistant vice-president of corporate security at Envision Financial. “Dealing with the aftermath of identity fraud is unpleasant and stressful, so we really encourage our members to take every possible step to safeguard their identity.”
Personal documents are one of the most commonly-exploited means of identity theft.