1 - What is Protective Registration?
The CIFAS Protective Registration Service enables a person who is at greater risk of being, or already is, a victim of identity theft or identity fraud to place a protective warning on their credit file. Examples of risk include being a victim of crime or a data loss. Any organisation that uses CIFAS data will see a CIFAS Protective Registration filing and will take extra precautions to ensure that the application or account that prompted the search is genuine.
2 - How much does it cost?
The cost is £20 a year.
3 - What will happen when I apply for credit or other services?
As a result of the entry organisations that share data through CIFAS will undertake additional verification checks to ascertain that the applicant is genuine and not a fraudster trying to commit identity theft.
4 - Will the Protective Registration Service contact me when someone uses my details, or to check that it is me who is applying?
No. In the majority of cases the organisation who sees the Protective Registration warning will be able to determine whether the application is genuine through the extra verification checks they make. Occasionally it may be necessary for the organisation in question to contact you to confirm some personal information.
5 - Can signing up for Protective Registration adversely affect my credit rating?
No. Information shared through CIFAS is not used to calculate creditworthiness - it is only used for the prevention and detection of fraud.
6 - Will Protective Registration affect credit/debit card transactions?
No. CIFAS warnings are only used in the processing of new applications for products or services or the administration of existing accounts and services or insurance policies.
7 - How long is the Registration for, and can I remove it?
The registration will remain for one year. You can request the removal of the Protective Registration at any time by writing to us. We will contact you in advance of the expiry of the Registration to ask if you wish to extend it. (In addition, please read question 16)
8 - What if I move address or change telephone number - can I update my details?
Yes - please call to update your personal details.
9 - Does the Registration cover just me or all my family at my address?
Each person at an address who wishes to have Protective Registration must apply separately.
10 - Do I have to live at the address that I want to register?
Yes, generally speaking you must live at the address for which you wish to apply for Protective Registration. However, if you own a property in the UK, which you are not residing at but where your details have been compromised, you can register the address in question. (This might be the case if you are working abroad and renting your UK residence out).
11 - What should I do if there is a problem with my post?
If you suspect that your mail is being stolen, or a mail redirection application has been made in your name without your knowledge, contact Royal Mail Customer Care on 08457 740 740 or www.royalmail.com.
12 - Can I take out Protective Registration for a deceased relative?
Yes - please fill out the application form in the name of your relative and return it with a covering letter explaining the situation, along with a photocopy of the death certificate. The covering letter should also include your contact details.
13 - How safe is my data?
We take the security of your data very seriously. Only trained staff within the organisations that share data through CIFAS can access the data, and the database itself is hosted at a secure data centre. The secure data centre has industry standard security software to prevent unauthorised access to the data. Annual independent audits are undertaken to test the security and the facilities are ISO 27001 accredited.
14 - Where can I get further information on identity theft / fraud?
The Government and financial industries have jointly produced a guide to protecting your identity, available at www.identitytheft.org.uk. Copies of the leaflet may also be available at your local Citizens Advice Bureau, public library or police station. This website also contains a wealth of useful information.
15 - Can I renew my Protective Registration each year to ensure continuous cover?
When you have lost valuable identity documents, or had your personal details compromised, the risk of your details being used by a fraudster is greater within the first few months of the loss. This is because the fraudster needs to obtain the maximum financial benefit from the documents, or data, in the shortest period of time before the fraud is detected and steps taken to protect the victim from any further fraudulent attempts using their details. It is during this period that the Protective Registration warning is of most value to the victim and any lender checking our database.
This means that those who are at a high risk of identity fraud are easily identified by participating organisations and any applications received are subject to additional security checks to confirm they are genuine. Continuing to have registrations in place after the risk of identity fraud has diminished reduces that value of the Protective Registration Service, as more and more applications would be subject to the same checks, therefore reducing the instant identification of those at greatest risk. This is why we do not routinely renew a Protective Registration year on year. We do however write to individuals after the first year to ask whether they are still at risk from identity fraud and enquire whether they would like to renew their registration. Only those individuals who genuinely remain at risk should renew their registration.
Some individuals have told CIFAS that they would like to use the Protective Registration Service as an 'insurance policy' against the threat of identity fraud. The service is not designed for this purpose and further information on how you can protect yourself from identity fraud can be found at www.identityfraud.org.uk
16 - What if I don't want to send my personal details through the post?
Protective Registration can be taken out over the telephone on the Protective Registration Order Line on 0330 1000 180*.(8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday).
Please only use this telephone number for ordering Protective Registration matters - the staff on that number cannot help with any other CIFAS-related queries. Please also have your credit or debit card with you before you telephone. Thank you. For any other CIFAS queries, please click here.
* Calls to 03 numbers cost no more than a national rate call to an 01 or 02 number and must count towards any inclusive minutes in the same way as 01 and 02 calls. These rules apply to calls from any type of line including mobile, BT, other fixed line or payphone. There is no revenue sharing - where the dialled party can receive a share of what the consumer pays to make a call - on calls to 03 numbers.
17 - What if I want to apply through the post?
To make a CIFAS Protective Registration by post, click here to download the form. Once the form is complete, return it to the following address:
CIFAS Protective Registration
Bankhead Crossway South
Edinburgh EH11 4EP