London named fraud capital of UK

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The Independent Online

London is the fraud capital of the UK, being home to around three-quarters of the UK's "identity fraud hotspots", a study has found.

Analysis from CreditExpert by Experian pinpointed Woolwich in south east London as having the highest proportion of identity fraud cases last year - with an average of just over 17 fraud attempts for every 10,000 adults.

East Ham was in second place with a rate of more than 16 fraud attempts, while central London's bustling Victoria Street, a popular tourist spot stretching from Victoria train station down into the heart of Westminster, came third, with just over 14 attempts.

Peter Turner, managing director at Experian Interactive, said: "Identity fraud is one of the UK's fastest-growing crimes.

"Fraudsters target groups that they know to be vulnerable and London contains a high proportion of such people.

"These include: the obviously wealthy, who have access to multiple sources of credit; young professionals who are heavy internet users and who often rent shared accommodation, so move around a great deal; and people in rented accommodation on low incomes, who are often targeted for small amounts and who are most vulnerable to the effects of identity theft."

Commuter belt areas Reading, Ilford and High Wycombe were the only areas outside the capital to make the top 10.

Figures are based on analysis of information from the National Hunter anti-fraud data sharing system and the Insurance Hunter database.

Here are the UK's identity fraud hotspots:

Area Fraud: Attempts per 10,000 adults

1. Woolwich (London) 17.03

2. East Ham (London) 16.07

3. Victoria Street (London) 14.22

4. Lewisham (London) 13.56

5. Cheapside (London) 10.57

6. Reading 9.87

7. Ilford 9.68

8. Tooting (London) 9.41

9. High Wycombe 9.36

10. Stratford (London) 9.08