East Ham named identity fraud hotspot

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People living in London's East Ham are more likely to be the victims of identity fraud than anyone else in the UK, figures suggest.

In 2012, the east London district experienced 27 identity fraud attempts for every 10,000 adults.

Overall, London experienced 11 attempts for every 10,000 adults.

Beyond the capital, Altrincham in Greater Manchester was the worst place for identity fraud, the figures from credit-scoring firm Experian, show.

There were 13 fraud attempts there for every 10,000 adults - more than three times the national average.

Other identity fraud hotspots include Birmingham, Manchester, St Albans, Sutton Coldfield, Slough, Hatfield, Dartford and Camberley.

The national average for identity fraud was four attempts for every 10,000 adults.

'Symptom of economy'

Experian said identity fraud was highest in inner-city, mixed neighbourhoods with low to middle incomes.

But it added victims are also being targeted in more affluent towns near the UK's major cities - typically younger couples living in new homes, with average incomes and a high demand for credit.

Within London, identity fraud was also prevalent in Romford, Bexleyheath, Woolwich, Cheapside, Stratford, Ilford, Walthamstow, Lewisham and Enfield.

Nick Mothershaw, UK and Ireland director of identity and fraud at Experian, said: "It comes as no surprise that the capital remains a target for third-party fraudsters - particularly around densely populated inner-city boroughs where identities are easier to steal.

"However, fraudsters are clearly attracted to rich pickings in more affluent areas, where access to an identity might be harder to obtain but the prize makes it worth the extra effort.

"Clearly, identity theft is not just confined to inner-city areas but is a UK-wide problem and a symptom of tougher economic times, highlighting the need for people everywhere to be increasingly vigilant."

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