Taken from BBC news
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 city areas, and opened in a blaze of publicity.
But in the past 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 revealed 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 had identified an entire street in the town where there was evidence of people being involved in fraud at every address.
New flats built in the past few years have lured young, aspirant professionals to the area, but residents suspect they have also attracted fraudsters.
And this was not a problem that was 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.