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How is your sector responding to COVID?

8 July 2020

Responding to COVID

Due to the ongoing restrictions linked to COVID-19, Cifas were unable to travel to host the seven regional Organised Fraud Intelligence Group meetings. To ensure members and key partners continued to share key intelligence and gain the latest Cifas updates, OFIG sessions were run remotely. Due to the wealth of interest, the Cifas intelligence team hosted a total of 14 OFIG meetings (including two additional London and South-East meetings) to accommodate everyone, resulting in over one hundred attendees across 82 organisations taking part.

Attendees, ranging from Cifas members to law enforcement individuals to local authority counter fraud professionals, discussed the latest fraud threats and trends, including how COVID-19 has shaped their operational response to prevent fraud, protect customers and protect their own organisation. Attendees were also informed about the latest Cifas updates across intelligence, Portal developments, the launch of Community Membership and Cifas’ Fraud & Cyber Academy.

Key themes raised across the June OFIG meetings include:

  • Social engineering and scam activity with clear adaptations in MOs to exploit the pandemic;
  • Actors targeting COVID-19 financial support schemes;
  • Perpetrators taking advantage of changes in consumer habits/behaviours;
  • Misrepresentation of “key workers” to obtain a range of financial products and services;
  • Phone number spoofing to facilitate APP fraud;
  • Internal fraud concerns as organisations adopt remote working policies longer term.

Cifas members are now able to view all fraud threats in the Intelligence section of the Cifas Portal.

Cifas’ Fraud intelligence Analyst, Duncan McLellan noted the ongoing pandemic is yet another example of how existing fraud typologies are being tweaked and adapted to take advantage of current events, with clear success across sectors. The capability to support 14 regional OFIG meetings remotely with such high levels of attendance is testament to our members and representatives across the community, actively sharing intelligence and emerging trends during this challenging period. This adaptable and forthcoming approach is crucial to respond to the dynamic threats facing organisations and the public.

As we look to the September OFIG round we are looking to hear from previous attentees or potential attendees for what they would like to see in future meetings. For any OFIG related questions or comments please contact

Posted by: Duncan McLellan

Duncan is a Fraud Intelligence Analyst at Cifas.


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Posted by: Duncan McLellan

Duncan is a Fraud Intelligence Analyst at Cifas.