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|Headquarters||London, United Kingdom|
|Products||National Fraud Database; Internal Fraud Database|
Number of employees
Cifas is a fraud prevention service in the United Kingdom. It's a not-for-profit membership association representing organisations from across the public, private and voluntary sectors. In 2016, Cifas had over 360 member organisations. Cifas states its mission is ‘to detect, deter and prevent fraud in society by harnessing technology and working in partnership’.
Cifas operates two core fraud prevention databases that are the largest in the UK: the National Fraud Database and the Internal Fraud Database. Its systems are also used by banks and building societies to access Home Office immigration data through a specialist portal.
Cifas was established in 1988 under the acronym CIFAS: Credit Industry Fraud Avoidance System, although the company no longer operates under this acronym as the remit has broadened. It was developed in association with the Information Commissioner and the Office of Fair Trading, who continue to take an active interest in the development of Cifas.
Cifas is today run by a board of directors, that includes both independent directors and the Chief Executive and Deputy Chief Executive. From 1988 to 2016 the majority of the directors were elected by participating organisations. They now participate in the governance of the organisation through an Advisory Board.
Cifas' National Fraud Database allows participating organisations to exchange confirmed details of applications for products or services which are considered to be fraudulent; exchange confirmed information about accounts and services which are being fraudulently misused; and confirmed information about insurance and other claims that are considered to be fraudulent.
Organisations can also exchange information about innocent victims of fraud to protect them from further fraud.
The Internal Fraud Database allows participating organisations to exchange details of confirmed cases where an applicant or member of staff has acted fraudulently.
Under the Data Protection Act, an individual has the right to make a Subject Access Request to Cifas, who will disclose any data held on the individual for a statutory fee. Cifas is not a Credit Reference Agency.
Immigration Act 2014
In 2014, the Immigration Act became law. Cifas was named as the sole provider of Home Office Immigration Data and launched the Cifas Immigration Portal (CIP) in December 2014. All current account-providing banks and building societies in the UK are required to use the CIP to access the Home Office data on disqualified persons.
Victims of identity fraud or people who are at risk of identity fraud can apply for Cifas Protective Registration for a fee. Protective Registration acts as a warning the organisation should carry out additional checks to verify the identity of the applicant or customer.
Collaborations and partnerships
Cifas works with a wide range of fraud prevention, financial, public sector, academic and charitable organisations and law enforcement to raise awareness of fraud and promote best practice in fraud prevention. Collaborative partners include the City of London Police, CIPFA, the Home Office, Age UK and Financial Fraud Action UK. Cifas is a core member of the Joint Fraud Taskforce, which was set up by former Home Secretary Theresa May in 2015.
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