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Identity Fraud Gang Targeting Surbiton Apartment Blocks

9 years ago...

An identity fraud gang has been caught on CCTV operating in Surbiton. They have been identified as Kingston University foreign national students who are using a network of fellow students living in apartment blocks in Surbiton and Kingston to provide them with door entry codes and keys to apartment blocks. To see CCTV footage of them picking the locks of internal mail boxes and taking the mail see the YouTube link below. With the mail stolen, and public information they gathered from Companies House, they were able to open a number of new bank accounts with large overdraft limits, obtain new credit cards and mobile phone accounts. They then stole all the returned mail from the bank and mobile phone companies with the online username/password details.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=unFfoWgKBdo

Experian have classed both Surbiton, specifically Maple Road, and postcodes in Kingston as top 10 identity fraud hotspots in the UK.

http://press.experian.com/documents/ExperianVictimsofFraudDossierIV.pdf (see page 10)

http://www.experian.co.uk/assets/insight-reports/brochures/The-Insight-Report-Victims-of-fraud-survey-March-2010.pdf (see page 15)

It is possible this same gang is responsible for the this crime wave. With the average person according to Experian taking 416 days to find out they are victims of identity fraud you should check your credit reports from Experian, Equifax and Call Credit every month. Look for credit searches or credit accounts from companies that you shouldn't have any credit accounts with. Also as a means of protection contact the credit rating agencies to put passwords on your credit file. This means any company doing a credit search will need to contact you first through the information on your credit file and not the contact information the fraudsters have supplied.

Comments

Nice spamming Experian.

I bet every site you post on you are saying exactly the same thing, "your area is a hot spot"

Paying £10 a month to see information held about you by Experian is robbery as well, but hey, you're a legit business right?

If you are any doubt that this is a genuine local issue in Surbiton I suggest you have a chat to the St. Mark's Neighourhood Police team based in the YMCA on Victoria Road who worked jointly on the crime case with the burglary squad at Kingston Police Station.

The reason I am highlighting this issue is that I was one of the victims and this incident only occurred 2 months ago. From our CCTV cameras we can see the gang following the postman from one apartment block to the next. When a member of the gang was arrested he had a number of cheque books on him in other peoples names. The CPS however won't prosecute as burglary is one of the hardest crimes to successfully prosecute, and in this case the gang are using a network of students to give them access codes or keys to the apartment blocks so they are not technically breaking in.

Theft is also hard to prosecute for as the mail is being taken from a communal area, and even though there are separate locked mail boxes, they can claim they mistakenly took someone else's mail for a friend living there. The banks are also not helping as they want to see at least 5000 pounds of loss per account before it is worth their while raising a case with the Police as fraud is growing at such an exponential rate over the last 10 years that their investigators are overwhelmed. Under the law the banks own the credit cards, cheque books etc, so they have to raise a case and not the victim who has the accounts. If the banks don't raise a case the Police and CPS can't do anything.

You can see from the YouTube link, in the original posting above, a sample of the CCTV footage which I think is good clear evidence.

So at the moment this gang is currently free to target the area, and I am highlighting this issue so everyone can try and protect themselves from also being a victim.

If you want to protect yourself you don't need to pay 10 pound a month (120 a year). You can

- Put a password on your credit file for free by contacting the credit rating agencies
- Get a one off copy of your credit file for 2 pounds by making a request under the Data Protection Act.
- Get identity fraud insurance through a company like CPP for 60 pounds a year, which also gives you unlimited access to your credit report.

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