Page last updated at 09:17 GMT, Friday, 19 March 2010

Identity fraud 'is set to soar' says Experian

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Identity fraud is likely to accelerate in 2010 as organised criminals target the rich, according to a report.

Some 72% of ID fraud in 2009 came in the second half of the year with company directors and business owners the most at risk, Experian found.

The credit reference agency said that the number of ID fraud victims rose by 20% in 2009 compared with 2008.

London remained the UK's crime hotspot area but Salford, Manchester and Cardiff were also vulnerable, it said.

Recession effect

Experian also noted a rise in the proportion of fraud cases when people manipulated their own information in order to access financial services such as credit.

The company estimated that these numbers would increase owing to lower levels of lending and the potential for more unemployment in 2010.

"Attempted fraud is on the increase and the nature of the threat is changing," said Nick Mothershaw, of Experian.

"Organised criminal fraudsters are moving into the mass-market, looking beyond those with obvious wealth towards lower-value but more vulnerable targets.

"At the same time, financial stress brought about by the recession is driving increasing numbers of people to commit fraud to maintain their lifestyles."



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