Small Business Bosses Most at Risk of ID Theft

Business owners are being urged to take care with their details as credit agency Experian publishes data pointing to a surge in ID Theft.

In 2006 Experian’s victims of fraud team received 3,500 requests for help whereas last year saw the figure increase to 6,000. That’s a 66% increase in incidences reported and a worrying figure.

Using detailed data from over 10,000 ID theft cases Experian profiled the victims in its fraud propensity model. This produced an accurate picture of the likely victims of ID fraud. Their classification identified that the typical ID fraud victim is aged between 26 and 45, earning more than £50,000 and are either at director level or running their own business. This group is three times more likely than the UK average to fall victim to ID fraudsters.

London has always been the UK capital of ID fraud and remains so with Londoners being twice as likely to be subject to ID theft than people living elsewhere in the UK. The London hotspots are Kensington, Richmond-Upon-Thames, Putney, Wimbledon and the Kings Road in Chelsea. Focusing on postcodes Experian identified that SW17 6 Tooting was also a real hotspot.

Elsewhere in the UK a number of places were at risk levels of around four times the national average. CB23 5 Great Cambourne near Cambridge was mentioned as were NN4 5 Far Cotton, Northampton and TS17 5 Ingleby Barwick, Stockton-On-Tees.

Speaking on the latest figures, Helen Lord, Director of Fraud and Compliance at Experian, said:

“The dramatic increases in identity fraud we have witnessed over the last 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.”

Jim Hodgkins, Managing Director of from Experian, added:

“There is no room for complacency. We all need to take active steps to protect ourselves against identity theft and everyone should regularly check their credit report using an online monitoring service like Doing this enables you to quickly spot any unfamiliar activity on your credit report, such as a fraudulent loan application, and to seek assistance from Experian so that we can help you to sort it out.”

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For further reading see our business advice article on Frauds & Scams, particularly the section on Identity Theft.

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