Identity fraud has leapt by 66% over the last year, with certain pockets of the UK most at risk, according to a report released today.
More than 6,000 victims contacted credit information firm Experian last year, compared with 3,500 the year before.
London remains the UK’s identity fraud capital, with residents almost twice as likely to fall victim than the rest of the population.
ID theft hotspots
Residents in affluent Kensington, south-west London, are three-and-a-half times more likely to suffer identity fraud compared with the UK average.
Those living in London’s Richmond-upon-Thames, Putney, Wimbledon and the Kings Road area in Chelsea are also among those at highest risk, Experian said.
The postcode enclave of SW16 6, centred on College Gardens in Tooting, south London, is almost five times more likely than the UK average to become a victim of identity fraud.
Outside of London, postcodes where the risk of fraud is more than four times the UK average include CB23 5 (Great Cambourne near Cambridge), NN4 5 (Far Cotton, Northampton) and TS17 5 (Ingleby Barwick, Stockton-on-Tees).
The typical identity fraud victim is aged between 26 and 45 and earning more than £50,000 a year, according to Experian.
Those who rent are also at higher risk of identify fraud because they tend to share mail boxes and move house more frequently, providing more opportunity for their credit histories to be misused by fraudsters, the report said.
Increase in ID fraud
Helen Lord, director of fraud and compliance at Experian, said: ‘The dramatic increases in identity fraud we have witnessed over the last few years have coincided with the increasing involvement of organised criminals in this space.
‘The rate of identity fraud growth is worrying. Although some people are statistically more likely than others to become a victim, we should all be concerned. We are all potential victims.’
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