Victims of Fraud Survey
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The key findings from the report are:
- Experian saw a 20 percent increase in the number of victims of identity fraud seeking help reclaiming their identities in 2009 compared to 2008.
- Less affluent people are increasingly more likely to become victims of identity fraud as organised criminals and opportunists turn to the mass market.
- Those people most at risk include people living in flats with communal halls and those who move frequently.
- The two riskiest postcodes are SW1X 8, centred on Kinnerton Street near Knightsbridge in London and W1K 7, centred on Park Street, near London’s Park Lane. Residents living in these codes are four times more likely to be a victim of identity fraud than the average resident.
- It is taking people longer to discover they have become a victim of identity fraud. In 2009 it took 416 days, up from 399 days in 2008.
- Most victims, 61 per cent, first discovered their identity had been stolen by checking their credit report.
- The average financial loss per victim is £1,100.
- Criminals are increasingly likely to take over an existing account rather than set up a new one to avoid stringent fraud checks built into the credit application process.
- Criminals redirected their victim’s post to another address in almost a third of cases in 2009.
Identity fraud (also called third-party fraud) can occur when someone uses another person’s identity to commit a crime, either by applying for credit, goods or services in their name (‘impersonation’) or by fraudulently using (‘taking over’) their existing accounts . In order to do this, fraudsters often first commit ‘identity theft’ - obtaining the victim’s personal information without their permission.