London Signposted as UK’s ID Fraud Capital

By Experian Credit Expert, PRNE
Thursday, October 20, 2011

LONDON, October 21, 2011 -

- With Photo

From Woolwich to Westminster, Londoners are being warned to be wary as the city is revealed to be the identity fraud capital of the UK - home to seven of the 10 worst areas for this crime.

The fact was literally signposted by CreditExpert with road hazard signs on Oxford Street, as a warning to Londoners to be wary of the many ways in which 21st-century fraudsters can get their hands on the public’s most precious commodity - their personal details.

Analysis from CreditExpert by Experian released to mark the culmination of National Identity Fraud Prevention Week finds that Woolwich, SE London, saw the highest proportion of identity fraud cases in the country in the last year.

The London district is ahead of East Ham in second place and Victoria Street in third. Lewisham (4th), Cheapside (5th), Tooting (8th) and Stratford (10th) complete the capital’s identity crime roll call.

But it’s not just inner-city areas that are identity fraud hotspots. Leafy Chiswick in South West London ranks 15th in the UK, while retail hubs Lakeside (18th) and Chelsea’s Kings Road (19th) also make the top 20.

And there are signs that identity fraud’s tentacles are reaching beyond London, with commuter towns Reading (6th) and Ilford (7th) hovering outside the top five.

Central Manchester (38th) leads the way for identity fraud in major cities outside London, followed by Birmingham (47th).

Peter Turner, Managing Director at Experian Interactive, commented: “In tough times, your personal information is one of the most valuable assets you have. 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.

“But some simple steps can protect you. Be cautious about what information you give out and what links you click on, and keep abreast of bank statements and your credit report, which will alert you to any irregular transactions or applications in your name.”

To avoid becoming a victim of identity fraud, CreditExpert has developed the following top tips:

  • Be smart with your smartphone
  • Don’t reveal too much on social networking sites
  • Keep pins and passwords private
  • Keep your firewalls and security settings up to date
  • Read your bank statements for irregularities
  • Check your credit report regularly
  • If in doubt, don’t click

The UK’s identity fraud hotspots:

                             Fraud attempts per 10,000
    Rank Area                adults
    1    Woolwich (London)   17.03
    2    East Ham (London)   16.07
         Victoria Street
    3    (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

How the biggest regional cities compare:

                         Fraud attempts per 10,000
    Rank Area            adults
    38   Manchester      4.85
    47   Birmingham      4.46
    88   Glasgow         2.00
    122  Nottingham      1.62
    123  Edinburgh       1.62
    148  Newcastle       1.39
    151  Bristol         1.37
    202  Cardiff         0.97
    238  Bath            0.72
    250  Liverpool       0.66
    276  Norwich         0.36

Note to Editors:

A picture accompanying this release is available through the PA Photowire. It can be downloaded from or viewed at or

Contact Details: Michael Sheen +44(0)20-7861-3013

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