Top 10 identity fraud hotspots New research shows ID fraud rates on the up
20 April 2011
Fraud rates up 11% in 2010, with London still topping the tables for both identity fraud and first-party fraud.
Fraud rates on the up
New figures from Experian show that fraud rates rose 11% over the course of 2010. London is still the identity fraud capital of the UK, topping the league table for both first-party and identity fraud.
Woolwich and East Ham recorded the most incidents per head of population, although the fraudsters are migrating west, with areas such Reading and High Wycombe showing large increases. Reading in particular saw a huge jump in fraud rates, with a 199% increase in identity fraud attempts, from just over 3 incidences per 10,000 people to almost 10.
The top 10 spots in order of incidences are Woolwich, East Ham, Victoria Street, Lewisham, Cheapside, Reading, Ilford, Tooting, High Wycombe and Stratford. You can find more detailed information about fraud in these areas by reading the ProtectMyID blog.
Identity fraud and first-party fraud
Identity fraud occurs when someone steals personal information to present themselves as someone else and spends money in their name. First-party fraud, meanwhile, is where an individual falsely portrays their personal circumstances, and is responsible for more than half of fraud attempts against credit and other financial service providers.
Car finance and mortgage providers were most frequently targeted by first-party fraudsters. Mortgage fraud attempts were up by 14% to 32% in every 10,000 applications in 2010, with first-party fraudsters responsible for almost all cases.
There was also a 25% increase in fraudulent applications for current accounts, with half of new cases down to identity fraudsters.
Protect yourself from ID Fraud
The Which? website contains a wealth of advice on how to avoid identity fraud, including tips to help you avoid phishing and skimming scams, and advice on how to properly dispose of financial information.
We've also come up with five reasons why identity theft insurance is rarely worth the money. We believe these policies are sold to consumers even though they are of little use, and the ID theft insurance sector is currently being investigated by the Financial Services Authority.
The video below provides a guide to what steps you should take to avoid becoming a victim of identity fraud:
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