ID theft up 66% in the UK

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LONDON – Cases of UK identity fraud have risen 66% in the past year, according to research by credit reference agency Experian. The agency was contacted by over 6,000 victims in 2007 – compared with 3,500 in 2006.

The research says that forwarding address fraud is the most prolific, at 36% of those surveyed. This involves the fraudster redirecting the victim’s mail to another address to intercept it.

The risk varies depending upon different postcodes within the UK capital, with most victims aged 26 to 45 and more commonly house sharing (leading to regular address changes and shared mail boxes).

Helen Lord, director of fraud and compliance at Experian, says: “The dramatic increases in identity fraud we have witnessed over the past few years have coincided with the increasing involvement of organised criminals in this space.

“The rate of identity fraud growth is worrying. Although some people are statistically more likely than others to become a victim, we should all be concerned. We are all potential victims.”

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