Cifas is a not-for-profit company working to protect businesses, charities, public bodies and individuals from financial crime. We 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.
Our mission is simple: to detect, deter and prevent fraud.
We do this by harnessing technology, sharing data and working in partnership. We provide the most comprehensive databases of confirmed fraud in the UK to over 300 organisations, enabling them to share confirmed fraud cases and cooperate to combat fraud. Sharing this data on confirmed fraud and fraud risks helps the UK to stay one step ahead of fraudsters and to break down industry silos –we work across the private, public and third sectors and law enforcement to unify and strengthen their fraud prevention work.
Cifas enables fraud prevention professionals to access expert advice, fraud data, events and training and to network with colleagues across sectors. Find out more about joining Cifas here.
Cifas offers fraud prevention advice and identity protection for individuals and vulnerable groups. Find out more about these services here.
The Cifas team works closely with UK law enforcement partners, including the City of London Police (National Fraud Intelligence Bureau), the National Crime Agency and the Metropolitan Police Service.
Find out more about what we do by browsing our latest Annual Report
Following a rapid rise in fraud losses in the 1980s, mostly affecting retail lenders, a number of lenders met in 1987 to consider their position. At the same time, the police suggested that fraud prevention should be a non-competitive issue and that organisations would need to co-operate and communicate to reduce fraud successfully. After a series of meetings, the retailers came up with the unique concept of Cifas: the first data sharing scheme of its kind in the world. Cifas became operational in late 1988.
The Office of Fair Trading, Information Commissioner and National Consumer Council were all involved in establishing Cifas, which used to stand for the Credit Industry Fraud Avoidance Service. Other schemes modelled on Cifas have been set up in South Africa and Germany. These operate independently.
In 1991, Cifas became an independent company limited by guarantee. This is similar to the way a number of charities and professional bodies operate. Cifas is not a charity but it does operate in the public interest, and any financial surplus is invested back into the services for the businesses and individuals it works with.
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