Dan Albas is the Conservative MP for Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola. This constituency includes the communities of Kelowna (precise boundaries), West Kelowna, Peachland, Summerland, Keremeos, Princeton, Merritt and Logan Lake.
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For most Canadians, identity theft is a concern, however, unless you have personally been a victim of identity theft, most are unaware of how serious the consequences can be and at how difficult it is to fix it.
In 2010, identity theft in Canada affected just over two in every 100,000 people, but in 2020 that rate has increased significantly to 20 in every 100,000 people.
In terms of actual numbers, since the COVID pandemic, reported incidents of identity theft have increased to over 17,000 in 2020 and, although data is not yet available for 2021, it is widely expected that they have doubled.
One of the reasons for this significant increase in identity theft has to do with CERB (the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit).
CERB was a program that had very few safeguards against identity theft, and worse, made it a profitable business among criminals and other disreputable individuals.
Currently, there are Canadians shocked to learn that they have to repay CERB benefits that they never received, because they find out that they have been victims of identity theft.
For those who have been victimized, this is a very difficult situation to rectify, as many institutions operate in a reverse charging environment where a victim of identity theft must prove that they were in no way responsible for the situation in question.
Many frustrated people turn to the media, and you’ve probably heard about identity theft from media stories about it.
In my view, governments at all levels are doing little to combat this growing problem.
I would like to share the following idea with citizens to get their feedback.
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