East London tops UK fraud hotspots

9 of the 10 most fraudulent areas of the UK fall with Greater London

East London has today been unveiled as the region most at risk of ID fraud in the British Isles, according to a new fraud ranking developed by credit reference agency Callcredit . The news comes as a further blow for East London, which only last month was named as the most indebted area in the UK .

Based on data including known fraud cases, house prices, the electoral roll, unemployment data and geo-demographic data, Callcredit has assessed the fraud status of the 121 localities that make up the UK. A shocking nine areas of London make it into the top ten most fraudulent areas, with Liverpool taking up the final spot.

Residents of Hereford have been identified as least at risk of falling victim of fraud, followed closely by areas such as Dorchester, Worcester, Exeter and Belfast.

Owen Roberts, head of www.callcreditcheck.com, the online credit report provider comments: "According to some of our recent research, 54% of Brits are more concerned about ID fraud now than they were 12 months ago .

"Fraud is an all too familiar concept these days and no one can be 100% safe from this organised crime, however people can certainly do things to help put themselves at a lower risk of falling victim. Taking simple steps such as shredding documents, protecting your PC and regularly checking your credit report can help you to stay safe and make life harder for the criminals.

"A sound financial standing is especially important during a recession and falling victim to identity fraud can damage your credit rating for a long time. It can be a time-consuming experience but by taking precautions now may save you from months of trying to reclaim control of your own name."

Callcredit's top tips to protect your identity:

• Don't throw your identity in the bin - keep track of your important documents and shred those you no longer need
• Always check your statements and watch out for small unrecognised transactions as these can be a precursor to serious spending by a fraudster
• Make certain you are watching for warning signs by regularly checking your credit report through services such as www.callcreditcheck.com
• Keep passwords and PIN codes safe and don't disclose them to anyone
• Don't broadcast your identity on the internet by failing to protect your PC

Key statistics:

The top ten postal areas most at risk of fraud were ranked as:

Label Rank*
London E 1
London SE 2
London N 3
Uxbridge 4
London EC 5
Romford 6
Croydon 7
London WC 8
London NW 9
Liverpool 10

The postal areas least at risk of fraud were ranked as:

Label Rank*
Hereford 121
Dorchester 120
Worcester 119
Harrogate 118
Belfast 117
Exeter 116
Taunton 115
Shrewsbury 114
Salisbury 113
Carlisle 112

By region, UK government office regions were ranked in terms of fraud as:

GOR Rank*
London 1
North West 2
North East 3
West Midlands 4
Yorkshire And The Humber 5
Scotland 6
East Midlands 7
Wales 8
East 9
South East 10
South West 11
Northern Ireland 12

*Ranked out of 121 post areas where 1 is most at risk of fraud and 121 is the least at risk.

For further information, please contact Sophie Smith on 0207 067 0415 or ssmith@golinharris.com


About Callcredit

• Callcredit (www.callcredit.co.uk) is the UK's most innovative, state-of-the art credit reference agency, with an extensive range of information and value added services for businesses and individuals.
• Callcredit Check provides consumers with online access to the details of their credit file at www.callcreditcheck.com
• Callcredit has harnessed state-of-the-art information technology with an unrivalled knowledge of the industry's needs to develop a range of innovative information solutions. Solutions that are enabling major lenders and a host of other blue chip companies to address regulatory requirements, make better credit decisions, target new customers more effectively and manage existing customers more profitably.
• Callcredit is one of six core businesses that form the Callcredit Information Group. The other five are:
• Database management company EuroDirect
Market analysis firm GMAP Consulting
• Online payment service provider, Legatio
• Scorecard development and affordability assessment specialist DecisionMetrics
• Marketing services and database specialist, Broadsystem