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Post-codes confirm London as UK’s hottest card fraud Hot Spot

Local evidence pinpoints CNP fraud growth across the country

It’s official: London remains the Internet fraud capital of Britain.
Reliable new data - gathered over the last year by tracking delivery addresses of fraudulently obtained goods - paint a vivid post-code picture of rising fraud.

With an increase of around 22% in national Internet card crime, Early Warning’s latest Fraud Map confirms London, Manchester, Coventry, Kilmarnock and Bristol as sustaining significantly more fraudulent transactions than elsewhere. Greater London easily heads the list. The data can pinpoint streets where card crime is most intense, suggesting SE18, including parts of Thamesmead on London’s South Eastern fringes, could be a candidate for the Card Fraud Capital of Europe. Outside London, Northampton and Stockport, last year denoted as ‘amber’ areas but predicted to make the top ten, have rapidly turned ‘red’.

Andrew Goodwill, MD of Early Warning says: “With such a high incidence of fraudulent purchases in so many suburbs, we weren’t surprised to see London top of The Fraudsters’ League again. What is notable is the number of postcodes around the country where the Fraud Map last year registered negligible fraud that are now showing ‘medium’ or ‘high’ levels. We have to accept that nowhere is exempt.’

To help combat the problem, Early Warning has developed an on-line ‘post-code risk assessment tool’, freely available to Internet traders via the website (

Goodwill added: ‘As Internet trading and shopping grows, the opportunities for CNP fraud increase. Chip and Pin in the High Street has driven fraudsters to the web, where crime is so much easier – they can even operate from abroad. It’s worth pointing out that the expected cost to traders of around £200 million this year translates into something like a £40 million loss to the UK economy as a whole from missed revenues.

It can be no longer be an excuse that it is not cost effective to investigate CNP fraud.

We can’t afford that and, frankly, recent Home Office legislation distancing the police from the situation only makes it worse. It’s now the job of the financial institutions, not individuals, to report fraud. The banks and others will only report crime to the authorities if action follows. These crimes are not being anything like fully reported, which is distorting the extent of the problem.’

The slow take up of security measures like Verified by Visa and Secure Mastercode don’t help the situation either. Early Warning’s advice to both internet merchants and the public alike is that they have a social responsibility to embrace these new initiatives.

Top Ten UK CNP Fraud Hotspots 2007

1. London
2. Manchester
3. Coventry
4. Kilmarnock
5. Bristol
6. Brighton
7. Leicester
8. Leeds
9. Glasgow
10. Nottingham

Visit the website to see the Map

Editors’ note:

Early Warning is routinely consulted by the police, the banks and on-line retailers about Internet ‘Cardholder Not Present’ (CNP) crime. The company’s CardAware fraud detection system uses a unique, live database of known card crime to protect on-line traders and assist prosecutions.

For further comment Andrew Goodwill on 0870 87 44999 or by email

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