Cybercrime Is Rising Across Canada, With Most Cases Remaining Unsolved

Numerous individuals are leveraging the power of the internet to commit crimes more than ever before, with women being targeted with fraud twice as likely as men. The Statistics Canada collected data from almost every police force within the country, determining 32,968 cases and spanning over 7,727 victims in 2018. The crimes range from identity fraud to extortion to uttering threats. Women were identified to be the victim in 68% of the cases.

When information and technology, for instance, a cellphone or a computer, is used to commit an offence or is the target of the crime, the offences are flagged, said Rebecca Kong, who manages the Policing Services Program at Statistics Canada. She added that violations might involve email, social media, or text message exchanges. She said, “Some of those types of what we call violations against a person — like harassment, intimidation, luring, even invitations to commit certain behaviours — can happen using those technologies.”

Majority of the cybercrime cases are still unresolved

Apparently, someone being charged for cybercrime is a rare proposition in Canada. For instance, 75.4% of sexual violations, including voyeurism, child pornography, and child luring – were not cleared, indicating that they weren’t resolved. It also becomes difficult to find the perpetrators of property crimes. Out of 272 cases related to identity theft, every case remained open except three. So did cases of fraud, which amounted to 15,746.

Kong said, “It definitely speaks to how crimes are being committed now, and it’s no longer the traditional fashion. And I think some of the clearance information also shows that it can be a challenge for the police to solve these types of incidents as well.”

Nova Scotia Has Highest Per Capita Rate of Cybercrime

According to the natural statistics agency, Nova Scotia, by far, reported the highest rate of cybercrime of any province, averaging 231.6 incidents per 100,000 residents. The national averaged was 89.4 incidents per 100,000 residents. Lethbridge, Alberta was the sole jurisdiction to have a higher rate, amounting to 300.8 incidents for every 100,000 people. Since 2016, the total number of reported incidents in Nova Scotia grew roughly 70.5%.

Unfortunately, obtaining a national rate from the same period isn’t possible since some large police forces weren’t reporting for that particular period. Except for Saint John Police Force, Calgary Police Service, and Ontario Provincial Police, the total number of cybercrimes increased by 23% from 2016 to 2018.

The overall decline was not seen by any province, though Nunavut and some regions of Ontario and Quebec saw lesser total reported incidents in 2018. Kong claimed that it was unclear as to why Nova Scotia had such a high rate, however, noted that Halifax saw cybercrime being doubled in 2018 when compared to the previous year. She said, “It is quite a difference [in Nova Scotia]. And again we’re seeing some big increases in rates for things like cyber extortion, indecent harassing communications, uttering threats, fraud as well.”

In Halifax Regional Police, nobody was available immediately for an interview. However, the force sent a statement claiming that it can’t attribute the increase in cybercrime to just one factor. All in all, it stated that there were more cases of extortion and fraud last year.

Const. Amy Edwards said in an emailed statement, “We encourage people to report these types of crimes for investigative purposes and to provide a more accurate picture of the cybercrime landscape.”

How can Gerri Wiebe help?

So, if you’re looking for a cyber-fraud lawyer, Gerri Wiebe can offer you legal help in Winnipeg. Our criminal lawyers in Winnipeg ensure that you defend yourself against this sort of crime, and defend well.

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