Beware online orders from Slough

Beware online orders from Slough
Slough beats London as the new centre for ID fraud

If you're selling online, then the advice from credit information business Experian, is you probably want to double-check orders from Slough and from young renters.

Experian revealed that Slough has overtaken London to become the identity fraud centre of the UK. The Berkshire town recorded 25 identity fraud attempts for every 10,000 households, with residents targeted at around four times the UK national average (seven households in every 10,000).

Additionally residents of London, Gravesend, Birmingham, Luton, Manchester and Leicester were also targeted at twice the national average rate.

Olympic neighbourhoods are fraud hotspots

London as a whole experienced 22 attempts for every 10,000 households, although attempts were not spread evenly across the capital. Substantial hotspots for identity fraud activity were found in and around London's Olympic neighbourhoods.

Financial service providers detected 78 incidents for every 10,000 households in East Ham, as residents were targeted at more than 11 times the national rate. Woolwich and Stratford also experienced significant identity fraud activity, recording 46 and 43 identity fraud attempts respectively for every 10,000 households.

The wealthy no longer targets

Experian also released figures for the people most likely to be targeted by identity fraud, and for once it's not the wealthy that are the target.

For the first time, young people renting small flats from local councils or housing associations represent the demographic most likely to be targeted by identity fraudsters. This group, known in Experian's Mosaic classification as Upper Floor Living, saw its identity fraud risk score increase by 47 per cent to 256 in 2011. Its constituents are two-and-a-half times more likely than the average UK resident to be targeted.

Almost as high on the identity fraud danger list are the Terraced Melting Pot (risk score 242), a group of mostly young people with few qualifications that who work in relatively menial, routine occupations, and live close to the centres of small towns or, in London, in areas developed prior to 1914. The Terraced Melting Pot saw its risk score increase by 75 per cent in 2011.

Nick Mothershaw, UK director of identity & fraud services at Experian, comments:

"Identity fraudsters have traditionally focused the bulk of their attentions on the wealthiest sections of society living in prestigious London postcodes. Our research shows that the risk continues to spread, with the highest rates of identity fraud now to be found in the Thames Valley and London's Olympic neighbourhoods.