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London and South-East the top fraud hotspots

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14/07/2008

Research by CIFAS has revealed that London and the South-East are the key hotspots for fraudulent applications across all product sectors.

The numbers of confirmed frauds recorded by the fraud prevention service for asset finance demonstrate that the concentration is strongly focused within the catchment area of the M25.

The most commonly appearing postal districts, when looking at frauds across all these product types are East Ham, Croydon, Peckham and Plumstead. Other areas in the top 20 include Walthamstow, Barking and Willesden.

CIFAS research manager Sandra Peaston said: “Although it is not unexpected that fraud should be at its most prevalent in cities, it is remarkable that almost all fraudulent activity is concentrated in and around London.

“Many elements conspire to make this the hub of activity for fraudsters, not least because they may feel that the population density affords anonymity. Years ago, that might have been true, but fraud data sharing has put an end to that. It is also true to say that London is a city of stark contrast where extraordinarily wealthy and socially disadvantaged people often live in close proximity. This can both provoke and help to facilitate fraudulent behaviour.”

Bank accounts and credit cards remain the fraudsters’ products of choice, but it is also noticeable that in the top five postal districts for fraud, only three types of product (asset finance, communications and insurance) failed to include all five within their top 10 hotspots.

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