Huge rise in internet fraud

IPSWICH has been flagged up as a hotspot for internet and mail-order fraud after sophisticated crooks doubled their money in the space of a year.Alarming new figures show that the total cost of fraud transactions delivered to Ipswich totalled £500,000 between September 2006 and August this year.

IPSWICH has been flagged up as a hotspot for internet and mail-order fraud after sophisticated crooks doubled their money in the space of a year.

Alarming new figures show that the total cost of fraud transactions delivered to Ipswich totalled £500,000 between September 2006 and August this year.

This is an increase of 100 per cent on last year's figure of £250,000.

Ipswich is currently ranked 42nd out of 120 postcode towns in the country but it is feared the rising amount of card crime will see it break into the top 20 within a year.


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Andrew Goodwill, spokesman for fraud prevention firm Early Warning, which conducted the research, said: “We rated Ipswich as a medium risk this year, but it is very, very close to becoming a high risk.

“We expect it to make the list next year if the trend continues.

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“Every order made online or mail-order using a credit card needs a valid delivery address, and more and more of the people carrying out this kind of fraud are choosing addresses in Ipswich.

“This does not mean necessarily that the fraudsters come from Ipswich but in a lot of cases they will do, as they need to be able to get to the addresses easily to collect the goods.”

The research shows that the addresses most common for delivering fraudulently obtained packages are IP1 and IP4 - central Ipswich and East Ipswich.

It is not clear whether the victims of crime are from the area as well.

Internet and mail order fraud is becoming more and more prevalent since the introduction of chip and pin cards made it impossible to use a stolen or faked credit card in the high street, without knowing the owner's pin number.

The crime is usually committed by using someone else's credit card details to order goods which are delivered to an empty address to which the fraudster has access.

However Mr Goodwill said fraudsters are becoming increasingly sophisticated and often advertise in newspapers for people wanting to make money working at home.

He said: “They will often tell people responding to these adverts that they will receive parcels through the post and they must forward them on - they will end up handling stolen goods in return for a few pounds.”

Have you been the victim of credit card crime? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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