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Thamesmead (aka "Little Lagos"): The Fraud Capital Of The Uk - Crime - Nairaland

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Thamesmead (aka "Little Lagos"): The Fraud Capital Of The Uk by dragonman: 1:26pm On Aug 11, 2009
The fraud capital of the UK
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/8193884.stm

Thamesmead was intended to be a vibrant, riverside community in south-east London. Forty years after being built, the area is known as a notorious hub of fraud, dubbed "Little Lagos" because of its association with west African criminal gangs, says Phil Kemp.

On the south bank of the Thames to the east of Greenwich stand smart, futuristic-looking tower blocks of riverside apartments. They are the most recent phase of development in the new town, Thamesmead, which was 40 years old last year. It was built on a wave of optimism in the 1960s, as a panacea to London's overcrowded inner cities, and opened in a blaze of publicity.

But in the last five years it has earned a reputation as the fraud capital of the UK.
Andrew Goodwill, director of the Third Man Group, a fraud prevention service which screens internet transactions to help retailers detect credit card fraud, said the company's database reveals Thamesmead's SE28 to have the worst record of any postcode in the country.
"Last year we indicated it was the capital in the UK for credit card fraud. And actually we went as far as to say it was probably the capital of Europe for credit card fraud as well."
He said the company has identified an entire street in the town where there is evidence of people being involved in fraud at every address.
New flats built in the last few years have lured young, aspirant professionals to the area, but residents suspect they have also attracted fraudsters.

"There was clearly at one point a ring of people who were raiding the letter boxes," says Anne-Marie Griffin, who bought a flat with her husband Barry under a shared ownership scheme in 2005.
"There were multiple letterboxes that were just ripped open but also piles and piles of mail on their hall floors in all different names for all different kinds of companies," she said.
Credit cards and benefit claims offer rich pickings for fraudsters with access to a genuine address and letter box.
"My husband gets quite a lot of deliveries for work and one day, the delivery company rang up and said: 'I'm just checking who you are - we've got a parcel and we wanted to make sure more or less that we think you're ok'," says Ms Griffin.
She said the company told her it was beginning to refuse to deliver to the area because the person answering the door would ask who the parcel was addressed to and then sort through a stack of credit cards all under different names.
'Eight mobiles'

And this is not a problem that is unique to the Griffins' estate. Another resident at a development further up the Thames said the concierge office for his apartment block looked like an Aladdin's cave of electrical goods such as mobile phones, plasma TVs and cameras.
A local postman said he could recall having to deliver seven or eight mobile phones to the same address in the same week.
One theory why this part of south-east London has attracted fraud is because of its connections to West African gangs, earning its nickname "Little Lagos".

In a report by think-tank Chatham House, a British police officer said that convicted fraudsters tend to escape significant punishments and tend to abscond fairly frequently while on bail.
Those who do not flee may have British passports or families resident in the UK, and they regard a short prison sentence as an
"occupational hazard", worth risking for the large proceeds of fraud they can enjoy when they get out.
Once an area earns a reputation, it is re-enforced as this kind of profile attracts more criminals.
A former fraudster from southern Africa said that even before she became involved with a criminal gang using stolen credit cards and cashing cheques, she had heard of the town's reputation.
"I used to hear people say if you go to Thamesmead anything you want, you will find it," she says, talking to the BBC at a park in south London.

"I was preparing for my child. My partner wasn't there. I think that's what pushed me into doing it. I was desperate."
She says she has now turned her back on her criminal past and is keen to discourage others from getting involved in fraud.
And residents' groups say they have had some success in cleaning up the area with the help of the police and other local organisations.
One such group is the Youth Awareness Programme run by Roy Gisby, who was a moonlighting construction worker when the first estates were being built in Thamesmead in the late 1960s.
"If you give something a bad name then it will live up to that name," he says. "So Thamesmead was known as a troublesome area particularly with gangs."
The concrete high-rises that surround the project were the setting for Stanley Kubrick's violent film, Clockwork Orange. Its bleak, futuristic depiction of violent youth has stained the town's reputation ever since.
But Mr Gisby believes the area has changed for the better. He said recent investment has given Thamesmead's younger population a more promising future:
"A lot have grown up in Thamesmead. It's been here 40 years and some are quite proud of living in Thamesmead so I think things are changing," he said.
"I don't see why you shouldn't be positive about Thamesmead."

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/8193884.stm
Re: Thamesmead (aka "Little Lagos"): The Fraud Capital Of The Uk by SeanT21(f): 9:38pm On Aug 11, 2009
embarassed
Re: Thamesmead (aka "Little Lagos"): The Fraud Capital Of The Uk by shotster50(m): 11:21pm On Aug 11, 2009
Thamesmead is not just the capital of fraud but drugs too.
Re: Thamesmead (aka "Little Lagos"): The Fraud Capital Of The Uk by Busybody2(f): 7:36pm On Aug 18, 2009
And later, they will start campaigning we should boycott companies and airlines who refuses to accept credit card payments from us embarassed embarassed embarassed
Re: Thamesmead (aka "Little Lagos"): The Fraud Capital Of The Uk by shotster50(m): 10:16pm On Aug 18, 2009
Nigerians love nothing better than sitting on their arses complaining.
Re: Thamesmead (aka "Little Lagos"): The Fraud Capital Of The Uk by Nobody: 9:03am On Aug 19, 2009
o npe koto je fraud capital. . .
Re: Thamesmead (aka "Little Lagos"): The Fraud Capital Of The Uk by Nobody: 9:29am On Aug 19, 2009
Re: Thamesmead (aka "Little Lagos"): The Fraud Capital Of The Uk by MrCrackles(m): 9:31am On Aug 19, 2009
Everything goes in Thamesmead. . .
Attended parties and blocked off chicks in that area back in em days, "men i done seen a lot around there". . . grin cheesy
Re: Thamesmead (aka "Little Lagos"): The Fraud Capital Of The Uk by Nobody: 10:30am On Aug 19, 2009
I can count the number of times i've been to that side of London.
Re: Thamesmead (aka "Little Lagos"): The Fraud Capital Of The Uk by myspace(m): 1:49pm On Aug 19, 2009
I dont know why Most Nigerians would just sit back and let a rampaging few define the impression the outside world has of us. Or are the criminals the majority?
Re: Thamesmead (aka "Little Lagos"): The Fraud Capital Of The Uk by debest1(m): 3:33pm On Aug 19, 2009
i know a few people who live in Thamesmead and have been there a few times, i don't think its anymore dangerous than other crime spots in London or UK. The report is in my opinion OTT

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Re: Thamesmead (aka "Little Lagos"): The Fraud Capital Of The Uk by shotster50(m): 11:12pm On Aug 19, 2009
I dont think the report is that far wrong. Most Nigerians I know that live there ( believe me when I say there are lot) are either in the drug game or fraud or both.
Re: Thamesmead (aka "Little Lagos"): The Fraud Capital Of The Uk by denzel2009: 10:55am On Aug 28, 2010
Add Woolwich

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Re: Thamesmead (aka "Little Lagos"): The Fraud Capital Of The Uk by frenchman(m): 4:10pm On Aug 28, 2010
no ,woolwich is better
Re: Thamesmead (aka "Little Lagos"): The Fraud Capital Of The Uk by Nobody: 8:31pm On Aug 28, 2010
chaircover:

My cousin used to live Thamesmead. He heard a loud bang at 4:00am one morning, looked out of the window and discovered the hard top had been stolen off his BMW on his front drive!

Chaircover, your cousin wouldn't be a R. Gbemre by any chance, would he?
Re: Thamesmead (aka "Little Lagos"): The Fraud Capital Of The Uk by Nobody: 9:19pm On Aug 28, 2010
Re: Thamesmead (aka "Little Lagos"): The Fraud Capital Of The Uk by Nobody: 9:28pm On Aug 28, 2010
Wow. This happened to a friend of mine too, used to live in Thamesmead. The hard top of his silver BMW 330Ci was stolen in the night.

His next door neighbour owned an Audi S8, though it wasn't stolen - at least not as at the time I spoke to my pal last! cool
Re: Thamesmead (aka "Little Lagos"): The Fraud Capital Of The Uk by Nobody: 9:40pm On Aug 28, 2010
Re: Thamesmead (aka "Little Lagos"): The Fraud Capital Of The Uk by Nobody: 9:55pm On Aug 28, 2010
True. Where we live, nothing ever happens - you could describe it as safe to the point of boredom. wink

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