Cifas is a not-for-profit company working to protect businesses, charities, public bodies and individuals from financial crime. They have more than 25 years of experience in fraud prevention and financial crime, working with a range of UK organisations to protect their customers and the public.
Cifas Protective Registration is a defence against identity fraud. It’s not for everyone – only those who have good reason to think they’re at risk, for example:
- people who have recently lost personal documents, or had them stolen
- customers of organisations that recently lost or leaked sensitive data
- anyone who has been advised by the police that they’re at risk.
What is identity fraud?
Identity fraud happens when a fraudster pretends to be someone else and uses their credit card or account to buy products or services in their name or takes out a loan in that person’s name.
Victims may not even realise that they have been targeted until a bill arrives for something they did not buy or they experience problems with their credit rating. To carry out this kind of fraud successfully, fraudsters usually have access to their victim’s personal information such as name, date of birth, address etc. Fraudsters get hold of this in a variety of ways, including through phishing emails, fake websites, hacking and data loss, as well as using social media to put the pieces of someone’s identity together.
How Can CIFAS Help?
When you request Protective Registration, they place a warning flag against your name and other personal details in the National Fraud Database. This tells the hundreds of organisations that use Cifas data to pay special attention when your details are used to apply for their products or services. Knowing you’re at risk, they’ll carry out extra checks to make sure it’s really you applying, and not a fraudster using your details.
What to do if you’re a victim:
ACT FAST if you think you have been a victim of identity fraud
If you receive any mail that seems suspicious or implies you have an account with the sender when you don’t, do not ignore it. Phone one of the major credit reference agencies to report your concerns.
Get a copy of your credit report as it is one of the first places you can spot if someone is misusing your personal information – before you suffer financial loss. Review every entry on your credit report and if you see an account or even a credit search from a company that you do not recognise, notify the credit reference agency.
Individuals or businesses who have fallen victim to identity fraud should report this to Action Fraud at www.actionfraud.police.uk.
It pays to be careful with your identity and never give out confidential information unless you are sure of who you are giving it to.
If you have any experiences with scammers, spammers or time-wasters do let me know – go to the About page then Contact Us.