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In 2020 the COVID-19 pandemic brought a wealth of challenges to UK businesses as well as the wider economy. Cifas quickly recognised the pandemic would provide fertile ground for fraudsters, and that as the UK’s leading fraud prevention service, we had an important role in protecting our members, stakeholders and the wider public.
We supported public sector organisations and law enforcement by sharing daily intelligence about new and emerging frauds, helping them to protect the public and economy from the adverse effects of financial fraud.
Support was also provided to the government by conducting fraud checks for the Bounce Back Loans Scheme and grants being administered to business by local authorities. These checks helped to ensure that funds intended to support businesses and individuals did not find their way into the pockets of fraudsters.
We also utilised the lockdown to accelerate our programme of digital solutions to improve our processes and help make our services more efficient, while reducing costs and overheads for our members.
Cifas member organisations recorded nearly 310,000 cases of fraudulent conduct on the National Fraud Database in 2020, with 82% of cases relating to identity fraud or misuse of facility. By sharing this data, Cifas members prevented fraud totalling £1.4bn.
Our members continue to be at the heart of everything we do. Despite the challenges brought about by COVID-19 to our business and the wider economy, we still achieved our target of bringing 99 additional organisations into Cifas membership. By the end of 2020 the Cifas community totalled 577 members.