Experian has revealed that Altrincham has become the top location for identity fraud in the UK outside certain parts of London. The Cheshire town recorded 13 fraud attempts for every 10,000 adults, with residents targeted at over three times the national average (four in every 10,000 adults). This compares with 11 attempts per 10,000 adults for London as a whole although there are areas of the Capital with significantly higher rates of identity fraud. Altrincham’s close neighbour, Stretford, in Greater Manchester, also appears in the UK’s top ten target location for fraudsters committing identity theft.
London as a whole experienced 11 attempts for every 10,000 adults, but with significantly higher rates in some inner-city boroughs such as East Ham, which recorded 27 fraud attempts for every 10,000 adults in 2012, the highest in the UK, with individuals targeted at almost seven times the national average. Residents in Romford and Bexleyheath were also targeted at around five times the national average. Additional hotspots are to be found in the London commuter towns of Hatfield, Dartford and Camberley although the previous rise in fraud in Thames Valley and the Home Counties has slowed overall in 2012.
Analysis reveals that London is still the leading location for first-party fraud with 19 cases per 10,000 adults with East Ham by far the worst with 78 cases per 10,000 adults. First-party fraud has risen in and around major UK cities including Birmingham, Manchester, London and Glasgow, and also in less affluent areas like West Bromwich, with 14 fraudulent applications recorded for every 10,000 adults. First-party fraud is where genuine individuals attempt to change their circumstances or hide adverse financial information to obtain credit which they may not be in a position to afford.