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Cifas responds to fraud being made a priority offence in Online Safety Bill

5 February 2022

Responding to the announcement that fraud is to be made a priority offence in the Online Safety Bill, Cifas CEO, Mike Haley, said:

'For far too long, fraud perpetrated on online platforms hasn’t been sufficiently dealt with by tech companies. Weak defences on some platforms make them hunting grounds for fraudsters attempting to trick members of the public into parting with their money or personal details.

'Cifas therefore welcomes the decision to make fraud a priority offence within the Online Safety Bill. Four in five identity fraud cases recorded to the National Fraud Database are committed via online channels and so it’s vital that policy reflects this serious risk to the public.

'By making fraud a priority offence, we hope to see swift action being taken by platforms to protect victims and deter criminality.

'We wish to see this action coupled with greater resource being made available to police to fight the fraud threat. The current tsunami of scams targeting the public is a result of years of under-prioritisation of fraud, and so co-ordinated activity across organisations and sectors will be required to stem this tide.'


Notes to editors

About Mike Haley

Mike has more than 30 years' experience of tackling and preventing fraud across the public, private and not-for-profit sectors, including considerable experience directing investigations, as well as developing prevention and detection strategies. He has led investigative teams in the NHS, Ministry of Defence, Office of Fair Trading, HM Revenue & Customs and Solicitors Regulation Authority. He also worked at the National Fraud Authority directing cross sector fraud prevention strategies including on mortgage fraud and identity crime. He joined Cifas as Deputy Chief Executive in May 2015, and became Chief Executive in May 2018.

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.

Cifas data is included in the Office of National Statistics England and Wales Crime Statistics of police recorded crime and works alongside law enforcement agencies in tackling fraud.

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:


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.


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


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

Further information

For more information from Cifas, please contact

Matt Pearson, Press & PR Manager
+44 (0)20 4551 7956

Posted by: Cifas Press Team

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