Credit Fraud (CIFAS)

CIFAS, the UK's Fraud Prevention Service, is made up of a number of different financial service organisations such as banks, building societies, finance houses, insurance companies, telecommunication companies and mail order companies. If a CIFAS member identifies an address where fraud has been confirmed, they can place a warning on that address. Any CIFAS member that receives a subsequent request for credit from that address is therefore notified that they should undertake additional verification checks before proceeding with the application to ensure it is genuine.

There are a number of CIFAS categories used to mark credit reports, as shown  the table below:

Category Explanation
0 Protective Registration
Recorded at the request of the named individual. Victims of data breaches, burglary or theft may use this service.
1 False Identity Fraud
Use of a false name with an address.
2 Victim of Impersonation
Use, by another individual, of this name and/or address.
3 Application Fraud (Facility Granted)
Material falsehoods (e.g. false employment details, false income, or concealed addresses) were provided in the personal information of the application; the facility was granted however.
4 Application Fraud (Facility Refused)
Material falsehoods (e.g. false employment details, false income, or concealed addresses) were provided in the personal information of the application; the facility was not granted.
5 Conversion
Conversion (sale or disposal) of goods still owned by the lender (for example, whilst still under a hire purchase or rental agreement).
6 First Party Fraud
Opening an account or other facility for a fraudulent purpose (e.g. direct debit fraud) or significant misuse of an account or facility.
7 Aiding and Abetting
Aiding, abetting, conspiring with or assisting another person (or persons) to procure credit fraudulently.
8 Insurance Claims Fraud
The making of a claim (or claims) under one or more insurance policies using false information and/or false documentation.

The CIFAS entry appears on the credit report of any individual that has a link with the address; however, this does not mean that the individual is accused of fraudulent activity, merely that they may be the innocent victim of impersonation, and the lender should take extra precautions to confirm the identity of the applicant. This may lead to a delay in processing applications.

How Long is This Data Held on Your Credit Report?

A CIFAS warning will remain on your credit report for at least a year from the date of the most recent fraud. However, CIFAS members may extend this warning period if they feel that the address needs further protection, and the warning may remain for as long as there is evidence of fraud.

Protective Registration

If you have been the victim of a data breach, burglary or theft, then you can apply to CIFAS for what's known as protective registration. For a small annual fee, a CIFAS warning flag (Category '0') will be placed against your address to show that  you have been recorded on the CIFAS fraud prevention database at your own request. All subsequent credit applications made whilst the service is active will require the lender to make more thorough checks before approving any credit applications; for example they may request further proof of identification. This warning flag will only remain on your record for as long as you subscribe to the service.