18/10/2010

Identity Fraud Campaign Launched

In support of National Identity Fraud Prevention Week (NIFPW), officers from the Met’s Operation Sterling have launched a week’s worth of activity, to offer advice to businesses and residents about how best to protect their identities.

Research from CIFAS, the UK Fraud Prevention Service, suggests that over 79,000 people have been victims of identity fraud in the UK so far this year.

Operation Sterling, the economic crime prevention strategy for London, have set up a number of mini-conferences and public stalls across a few of the boroughs where, according to research from Experian, ID fraudsters are most likely to strike - Kensington and Chelsea, Westminster, Wandsworth and Newham.

Today’s activity in Kensington and Chelsea is the first event of a week of police action raising awareness and targeting people using false IDs for a myriad of different crimes. False IDs are a key enabler for more serious criminal activity including terrorism, organised immigration crime and large scale fraud.

Financier Arpad Busson, a member of the Kensington and Chelsea Residents Association supports the work that the MPS are doing to highlight the threat of ID fraud. He said: "Identity fraud is not a victimless crime, criminals may steal your details to apply for financial products, get a job, evade detection and commit other more serious crimes.

"They are taking something that you have spent your whole life creating - that is why it is important to be aware of the measures available to protect yourselves, your families and your way of life and why I am offering my support to the Met police during this initiative."

The MPS are working in partnership with Fellowes, the Association of Chief Police Officers, City of London Police, the National Fraud Authority, the Federation of Small Businesses, Equifax, CIFAS - The UK’s Fraud Prevention Service, Callcredit, Experian, the Home Office, the British Chambers of Commerce, the British Retail Consortium and Royal Mailduring NIFPW.

Detective Chief Inspector Nick Downing, from the Economic and Specialist Crime Command, said: "We are committed to working with partners to combat economic criminality through the 'St£rling' economic crime strategy. Identity theft can cause serious implications for individual victims, corporations, the public at large and the economy as a whole.

"We are pleased to be working with the partners involved in National Identity Fraud Prevention Week, and raising public awareness together.

"Just by taking simple steps like destroying data securely, never divulging your PIN or password or avoiding posting personal details online, you can protect yourself against this type of fraud.

"The support we have received from the Safer Neighbourhood Teams on the boroughs where we are raising awareness has been brilliant.”

(BMcN/GK)

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