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Experian helped over 14,400 victims recover from fraud in 2015
Nottingham, UK, 23 March 2016 – 2015 saw professional renters bear the biggest brunt of a surge in identity theft. One fifth (20%) of all attempted identity theft in the past year was aimed at young professionals in rented accommodation.
In particular, this group was the target for nearly a quarter (23.4%) of all attacks involving current accounts, which has been the biggest focus for fraudsters in 2015.
New research from Experian also reveals that fewer high net worth individuals fell victim to identity thieves in 2015, compared to 2014.
Affluent families living in prestigious areas, who tend to have high assets and investments, saw a significant drop in attempted identity fraud – from 10.7% in 2014 to 8.3% in 2015. Well-off home owners in rural locations, who tend to be self-employed, also saw identity fraud attacks fall from 5.3% in 2014 to 3.8% in 2015.
Nick Mothershaw at Experian comments: “Easily accessible, shared hallways can offer opportunities for those wanting to harvest personal details and these figures highlight the need for renters to be vigilant. People in these shared blocks must remain aware of their finances and spot any irregularities that could be a sign of fraudulent activity.”
ID theft continues to be a nationwide challenge affecting individuals from all parts of the UK. While London remains the fraud capital of the country (28% of all first party fraud and 36% of all third party fraud) the inner-cities of Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester and Glasgow have also been particularly vulnerable. The high density of professional renters in shared blocks of flats contributes to this, with personal details easily accessible in shared unsecured mail boxes and high rates of digital usage giving fraudsters more ways to steal a person’s identity.
Isolated pockets of fraud hotspots have been detected in the Highlands, Wales, Devon, Cornwall and Hampshire. They reveal how ghost-brokers are using low-risk postcodes to illegally sell insurance.
Third-party fraud continues to be biased towards wealthier suburban areas – as clearly shown on this Greater London map, with virtually every commuter town around the M25 having disproportionately high levels of third-party fraud.
Last year, Experian’s Victims of Fraud (VOF) team helped almost 14,500 people reclaim their identity and restore their credit rating. Set up over ten years ago to support those who discover their identity has been hijacked, the number of people Experian has helped has increased each year.
The typical person who contacted Experian’s VOF team last year was male (62% of victims), aged between 30 and 40 (32%), and lived in the South East of England. More than 38% of victims came from the London area.
Nick continues: “Fraud typically goes undetected for many months and when it’s discovered, most victims report feeling angry, confused and vulnerable. Many also feel anxious that their credit rating will plummet and with it any chances of qualifying for competitively priced credit. It is important people know there is help available.”
What can people do to prevent being victims of ID fraud?
Experian’s interactive fraud dashboard provides the latest insight for those wishing to stay up to date. It is the first of its kind in the UK and shows fraud rates by financial product as well as regional hotspots and high profile fraud facts. Please visit the dashboard here.
Notes to Editors
We are the leading global information services company, providing data and analytical tools to our clients around the world. We help businesses to manage credit risk, prevent fraud, target marketing offers and automate decision making. We also help people to check their credit report and credit score, and protect against identity theft. In 2015, we were named by Forbes magazine as one of the ‘World’s Most Innovative Companies’.
We employ approximately 17,000 people in 37 countries and our corporate headquarters are in Dublin, Ireland, with operational headquarters in Nottingham, UK; California, US; and São Paulo, Brazil. Experian plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange (EXPN) and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 index. Total revenue for the year ended March 31, 2015, was US$4.8 billion.
About Experian’s Victims of Fraud service
Set up in 2004 to provide dedicated support to victims of identity fraud, the VOF team is on hand to give people expert advice and support to try to reduce the time and effort it can take for someone to reclaim their identity. Our expert advisers work with each victim to establish the full extent of the fraud and raise the alarm with all the lenders involved, Action Fraud (the national fraud and internet crime reporting centre) and the other credit reference agencies. We also advise people on any appropriate security measures they may wish to take, such as a Protective Registration warning through CIFAS, the fraud-prevention service. Our aim is to help reduce the stress and inconvenience fraud causes, especially by ensuring that any damage to the victim’s credit report is quickly corrected.
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