Two thirty-somethings from Langley have been arrested and thousands of dollars of items seized after several police agencies teamed up.
The charges will even include a data breach of PharmaNet.
On July 17, the RCMP â€œEâ€ Division Federal Serious and Organized Crime Section (FSOC), with the assistance of Langley RCMP, the Lower Mainland Emergency Response Team and the Integrated Forensic Identification Section, executed a search warrant at a North Langley residence during an investigation of several large fraudulent transactions.
The FSOC investigation was initiated in June 2014 after a common suspect was identified through Abbotsford Police, Victoria Police and Burnaby RCMP investigations.
As a result of the search warrant, police seized:
â€¢ in excess of $100,000 worth of construction, excavation and lawn equipment
â€¢ over 13,000 credit card numbers
â€¢ personal identity information for many individuals who had no association to the residence
â€¢ counterfeit government identity documents in various stages of manufacture
â€¢ equipment required to manufacture counterfeit documents
â€¢ a Canada Post uniform
â€œThese items are believed to have been acquired through fraud and many of the individuals identified and contacted during this investigation process were previously unaware that they had been victimized,â€ said S/Sgt. John Taylor of FSOC.
One man was arrested on outstanding fraud charges and is being held in custody.
Giovanni Michael Aiello, 32, and Nichole Maria McGregor, 36, both of Langley, are each facing several charges including fraud, identity theft, possession of property obtained by crime and possession of instruments for forging credit cards.
One of their charges is in relation to the recent PharmaNet data breach.
â€œEconomic integrity is an RCMP priority and as a result the RCMP investigates and disrupts a variety of offences associated to financial crime,â€ said Taylor. â€œIndividuals involved in criminal behaviour are often active in many areas of illegal activity.â€
Public awareness is an important tool in preventing the victimization of Canadians.
The RCMP offers some tips for helping protect personal information and preventing fraud and identity theft:
â€¢ Identity theft can occur over the Internet or telephone, or via fax or regular mail. Be wary of unsolicited e-mails, telephone calls or mail attempting to extract personal or financial information from you.
â€¢ Periodically check your credit reports, bank and credit card statements. Report any irregularities to your financial institution or to one of the following credit reporting agencies: Equifax Canada â€“ 1 800 465 7166 or Transunion â€“ 1 877 525 3823
â€¢ Shield your personal identification number when using an ATM or PIN pad.
â€¢ Shred personal and financial documents prior to disposing of them.
If you feel you may be a victim of fraud:
â€¢ Contact your bank or credit card issuer immediately. They may block your card to prevent losses, ask you to change your PIN or cancel your card and issue you a new one. The bank may ask you to sign an affidavit if there are fraudulent transactions in your account. If there is money missing from your account, they will work to get it back as quickly as possible.
â€¢ Contact your credit bureau and have fraud alerts placed on your credit reports.
â€¢ Contact your local police.
For more information on protecting yourself against fraud and identity theft, please visit the External link, opens in a new windowCanadian Anti-Fraud Centre website.