Criminals increasingly turning to debit card fraud, report concludes

CHARLOTTETOWN — Criminals in Canada have become increasingly adept at using the power of plastic, particularly debit cards, to commit financial fraud, an annual report released Friday has found.

CHARLOTTETOWN — Criminals in Canada have become increasingly adept at using the power of plastic, particularly debit cards, to commit financial fraud, an annual report released Friday has found.

The Criminal Intelligence Service of Canada, which represents nearly 380 law enforcement agencies across the country, concluded that organized crime groups have adapted to advances in technology aimed at preventing fraud.

“More activities now are with respect to debit cards as opposed to credit cards,” RCMP Commissioner William Elliott, chairman of the CISC, told a news conference.

“We’re seeing some positive developments within the marketplace with regard to chip and pin technology, but it is certainly a very serious problem.”

Statistics provided by the Canadian Bankers Association shows combined annual losses due to debit and credit card fraud in Canada exceeded $500 million in 2008.

The bulk of credit card fraud losses are attributed to counterfeiting and fraudulent purchases, suggesting an increase in organized criminal operations, the report said.

Hackers are targeting online sites and using malware and keystroke-logger programs to steal credit card data — a trend likely to increase as online banking continues to grow in popularity, the report added.

“The criminal element responds to market demands and the realities of the changing environment,” Elliott said.

“People now less and less use cash, and the criminal element migrates to that as well. There are shifts in the way criminal activity is carried out.”

Federal Public Safety Minister Peter Van Loan acknowledged that combating financial crime has been a challenging task with constantly evolving technology.

“With changing technology, of course, we continue to always have challenges in keeping pace with crime, particularly financial and organized crime,” Van Loan said in an interview.

“The providers of financial services … are also very involved in improving that technology so that they can get better at it. We just have to continue to work on cracking down on that kind of crime.”

Credit card fraud is especially prevalent in the urban areas of Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia, the report said.

It also found that there are about 750 criminal groups operating in Canada — a slight decline from last year.

Just Posted

Alberta hiring more paramedics and buying new ambulances, none for Red Deer

Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer is not concerned the provincial government didn’t… Continue reading

‘My nightmare began again’: Close call as bus carrying Humboldt crash survivor rear-ended

CALGARY — A terrifying ordeal for Humboldt Broncos survivor Ryan Straschnitzki this… Continue reading

Halifax airport operations normalize after Boeing 747 runway overshoot

HALIFAX — The Halifax Stanfield International Airport has resumed normal operations a… Continue reading

Bentley family left without a home grateful for community support

Central Albertans are coming together to support a Bentley family left homeless… Continue reading

Red Deer RCMP ready for new mandatory alcohol screening law

Red Deer RCMP are ready to enforce a new law intended to… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer and District Kennel Club Dog Show at Westerner Park

The Red Deer and District Kennel Club is holding a dog show… Continue reading

Pence aide out of running to be Trump’s next chief of staff

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s top pick to replace chief of staff… Continue reading

Swath of South faces wintry mess: Snow, sleet, freezing rain

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A massive storm brought snow, sleet, and freezing rain… Continue reading

‘I killed my best friend’: Opioids’ fatal grip on mayor, pal

MOUNT CARBON, Pa. — Janel Firestone found her son — the 24-year-old,… Continue reading

Brothers, 20, face second-degree murder charge in death of teen: police

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — Police west of Toronto say two brothers have been… Continue reading

A young mayor, his friend, and a fatal attraction to opioids

MOUNT CARBON, Pa. — Janel Firestone found her son — the 24-year-old,… Continue reading

GM fights to retain key tax credit amid plant closing plans

WASHINGTON — General Motors is fighting to retain a valuable tax credit… Continue reading

TTC union asks provincial government to step in on transition to Presto

TORONTO — The union representing transit workers in Canada’s most populous city… Continue reading

Small pot growers find roadblocks on path to microcultivation licences

Yan Boissonneault’s daughter was turning blue. Without warning, his baby had stopped… Continue reading

Most Read