Hatfield is identity fraud hotspot, report reveals
PUBLISHED: 10:57 26 June 2013 | UPDATED: 11:24 26 June 2013
HATFIELD has been branded "a key target for identity thieves" in a new report on ID fraud.
The town was in the top 10 worst-hit areas in the UK. It was found to have 11 cases of third-party ID fraud per 10,000 adults, which placed it second in the country behind Altrincham, in Greater Manchester, and on par with the average for London.
The findings, in a survey by credit checking firm Experian, also showed nearby St Albans was in the top 10, with eight cases per 10,000 adults.
Third-party ID fraud is defined as when where crooks use information taken from an individual to obtain goods and services.
Nick Mothershaw, UK and Ireland director of identity and fraud at Experian, said: “Hatfield and St Albans by London, have become key targets for identity thieves.
“Clearly identity theft is not just confined to inner-city areas but is a UK-wide problem and a symptom of tougher economic times, highlighting the need for people everywhere to be increasingly vigilant.”
Altrincham had 13 cases for every 10,000 adults.
Mr Mothershaw added: “Across the financial services sector as a whole, it is vital that firms and other providers of credit recognise the financial and reputational risks associated with fraud, and put in place increasingly sophisticated identity verification and anti-fraud measures to combat the threat.”
But he said it was also up to individuals to protect their personal information.
A spokesman for Hertfordshire Constabulary said: “While the report singles out towns and cities across the UK, it is important to remember that this kind of crime crosses national and international borders.
“Victims living in this country can be the victim of a fraud that was committed thousands of miles away.”