view counter

Identity Fraud Gang Targeting Surbiton Apartment Blocks

10 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.

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


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.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

By posting content on, you agree to adhere to the following guidelines.

  • Your username and password must only be used by you, keep them safe. If a posting is made using your username and password it will be considered to have been posted by you. If you have a friend who wants to use our site and post messages on the site, show them how to register.
  • Be courteous at all times, inciting racial hatred, posting abusive, obscene, threatening, harassing, defamatory, libellous or sexually explicit material or any material that is found to be offensive is not acceptable and we may suspend your username and password.
  • Retaliating to offensive posts causes more problems for other users on the discussion boards. Just report such messages to us using the Feedback link which is available at the top of every page or the 'report this' link associated with individual postings. We will act on every report we receive.
  • Please respect other people's work and do not post material that infringes copyright.
  • Do not post information that you know to be confidential or sensitive or otherwise in breach of the law. You should only post material that you know to be public knowledge. If you have any doubts do not post it on the site.
  • Never attempt to gain unauthorised access to any area of the site. This is known as hacking and is illegal.
  • Content posted represents the opinions of the author, and does not represent the opinions of or its affiliates and has not been approved or issued by You should be aware that the other participants are strangers to you and may make statements which may be misleading, deceptive or wrong.
  • Spoofing or posing as another user is unacceptable. Anonymous users' postings should always be considered with suspicion.
  • Help keep a safe place for information and opinion. Please alert us of any anti-social behaviour as described above.
Please note that does not monitor the comments posted and we are therefore reliant upon users reporting antisocial behaviour.