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Cifas 2021 Budget Response

3 March 2021

Responding to the announcement made in today’s Budget, Mike Haley, Chief Executive at Cifas, said:

‘The introduction of a Taxpayer Protection Taskforce recognises the scale of attack that public funds have been under since the beginning of the pandemic. We’ve seen soaring levels of fraud reported recently, with over 300,000 cases filed to the National Fraud Database in 2020. This new taskforce will play an important part in identifying where criminals have taken advantage of important stimulus initiatives, and helping to ensure that public sector money goes to where it is really needed.

‘Introducing the Restart Grants and Recovery Loans to stimulate the High Street will be welcomed by businesses that continue to struggle as a result of the pandemic. However experience tells us that fraudsters are quick to use these opportunities to steal much-needed funds, and so it is crucial that the Government is taking necessary steps to ensure that public money doesn’t fall into the hands of fraudsters – including carrying out fraud checks.

‘Councils are once again being asked to administer the new package of support to businesses. I would urge all those involved to review their processes, to ensure that the speed of processing applications is appropriately balanced with measures to detect and prevent fraud, such as by checking against all available data sources so that grants will reach their intended recipient.

‘If these financial measures are to be amongst the last made available directly to businesses to help them recover from the pandemic, we can say with certainty that fraudsters will be targeting them.’

Notes to Editors:

About Cifas

Cifas is the UK’s fraud prevention service. We lead the fight against fraud by sharing data, intelligence and learning. The organisations that collaborate with us are drawn from all sectors, operating in both the public and private sectors working together to stop fraud. A full list of our members can be found on our website.

Organisations that work with Cifas, contribute to and benefit from the UK’s largest databases of fraud risk data and intelligence. We are committed to the principle of collaboration, which connects and drives our community, and enables the sharing of:

Data
We enable the secure sharing of high quality, trusted data to fight fraud. Our databases are the most comprehensive and diverse sources of fraud risk data in the UK.

Intelligence
We provide research and dynamic intelligence that influences the threat picture and strengthens the response against fraud.

Learning
We are a leading provider of accredited education and trusted training

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Posted by: Cifas Press Team
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Posted by: Cifas Press Team

Contact us at press@cifas.org.uk

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