Contacting Cifas as an Individual
Due to the ongoing pandemic the Cifas office is currently closed to the public.
Cifas is the UK's fraud prevention community. For over 30 years we have worked with hundreds of organisations to stop fraud and our community is made up organisations from across the sectors, including most banks, credit providers and telecommunication companies, who join Cifas as members.
How do I find out if Cifas holds information on me?
To find out if we hold information on you then you will need to make a free of charge data subject access request (DSAR). Please note we will also need to verify your identity to progress your DSAR.
The easiest way to do this is to complete our simple online form here.
I have made a DSAR how long does it take to get a response?
We are required by law to respond to your request within a calendar month of receiving a fully completed DSAR application, but we aim wherever possible to reply within 10 working days. Once you have successfully submitted your DSAR you will receive an automatic confirmation email and then further emails to update you on the status of your DSAR while we process it. Make sure you check your spam or junk folder if you haven’t received any emails from us.
How do I receive the information from Cifas?
Once you have made a DSAR, we will respond to you via email from firstname.lastname@example.org (unless you have specifically requested our response be sent by mail to you). Please note this email address cannot receive messages.
How do I interpret the information Cifas sends me?
When you receive your DSAR response from Cifas we will include a PDF attachment. This contains all the information relevant to your DSAR application.
Where we DO hold information about you
- If we do hold information, then here are a few key terms to look out for to help make sense of the response.
- ‘National Fraud Database entry filed by’ - this tells you which organisation has recorded the information in your details.
- ‘Date recorded’ - tells you the date the information was recorded to the database. The information is retained for a period of six years from this date.
- ‘Case Type’, ‘Reasons for filing’ and ‘Cifas filing’ - gives you details as to why the information has been recorded to our database.
- Our response may also include a list of organisations who have searched using your details. These will be searches carried out following an application made to them, or as part of account monitoring. Contact the organisation named for more information.
- You may receive a response that says we hold no information about you but your mobile number or email address only were recorded in other fraud risk cases. This means that an organisation recorded the mobile number or email address that you provided to us but no other details about you in a fraud risk case.
Where we do NOT hold information about you
- If we do not hold information about you then you will still receive a PDF attachment with content for you but it will clearly state that ‘there is no Cifas data directly associated with you on our systems’.
What can I do when I receive a response?
What you do when you receive a response will vary:
Where we DO hold information about you
- If you receive a response confirming there is data on our systems in your details, you will need to contact the organisation responsible for recording this data if you would like any more information. Details of the organisation will appear on your report against the entry – National/Internal Fraud Database entry filed by. You can read about contacting the organisation that recorded the information here.
Where we do NOT hold information about you
- If you receive a response confirming we hold no data on our systems that match your details but are still experiencing issues, then you may need to contact other fraud prevention agencies or credit reference agencies.
Fraud Prevention Agencies
Credit Reference Agencies
- You may receive a response that we hold no information about you but your mobile number or email address only were recorded by an organisation in other fraud risk cases. In that scenario we recommend that you contact the organisation to ensure that they are not disadvantaging you. You can share your DSAR response with them.
How long does Cifas hold information?
Information can be held for up to six years in the Cifas database.
How do I remove information from Cifas?
If you receive the results of your DSAR and want to challenge the information we hold about you, then the first thing you should do is contact the organisation who recorded the information to Cifas. Click here for a step by step guide on how to make a complaint.
If, following the review by the organisation and being sent their final response, you are still unhappy with the record you can ask Cifas to conduct an independent review of your complaint. Click here to use our complaints form.
What is Cifas?
Cifas is the UK’s fraud prevention service, managing the largest database of instances of fraudulent conduct in the country. Our members are organisations from all sectors, sharing their data across those sectors to reduce instances of fraud and financial crime. Throughout the UK, our experts and services help protect individuals and organisations from the growing and increasingly sophisticated threat of fraud and financial crime. Since 1988, Cifas has helped its members and customers protect themselves from billions of pounds worth of fraud losses. You can read more about Cifas here.
What is Protective Registration?
Protective Registration protects your identity against impersonation attempts by third parties. Protective Registration works by registering your details on the Cifas database to make the organisations we work with aware that you feel your identity is at risk. Once registered, any applications received using your details will be checked to confirm they are genuine, and not from a third party attempting to impersonate you. Protective Registration does not guarantee fraudulent applications will be intercepted, but it does reduce the risk of successful impersonation attempts. To apply online, click here.
How do I protect myself from scams and identity fraud?
Cifas has partnered with Citizens Advice to provide advice and to support to members of the public who are concerned they have been a victim of a scam. Click here to find the right Citizens Advice service to help you. If you are interested in learning more about how to protect yourself from identity fraud then click here to read about identity protection.
You may have been advised to contact Cifas to find out if we hold any information (generally known as a Cifas marker/case) on our databases in your details. This is known as a data subject access request (DSAR) and is free of charge. You can apply online and Cifas is required to respond to your request within one calendar month of receiving a fully completed form and supporting documentation.
APPLY FOR A DATA SUBJECT ACCESS REQUEST
When you request Protective Registration, we place a warning flag against your name and other personal details in our National Fraud Database. This tells any organisation that uses 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.
APPLY FOR A PROTECTIVE REGISTRATION
Cifas have partnered with Citizens Advice and their Scams Action Service which provides help and advice on scams. This includes helping people understand the types of scams there are and how to avoid them, and what to do if they become involved with one.
GET HELP OR ADVICE
Instructions for what to do if you have received the results of a data subject access request and would like to dispute the information Cifas holds.
Make a complaint to Cifas
You can contact us using our general enquiry contact form.
If you have been the victim of identity theft or a scam, please report this to your financial services provider and Action Fraud. Action Fraud is the UK's national fraud and internet crime reporting centre. Please visit their website, or call them on 0300 123 2040.
If you need help or advice on scams you can get advice from the Citizens Advice Scams Helpline by calling 0808 250 5050.
The service is open from Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. The helpline is closed on bank holidays. Calls are free from mobiles and landlines.