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Cifas responds to inclusion of paid-for adverts in the Online Safety Bill

9 March 2022

Responding to the announcement that paid-for adverts will be included in the Online Safety Bill, Cifas CEO, Mike Haley, said:

‘During the pandemic, levels of fraud surged as criminals identified weaknesses online that allowed them to conduct convincing scams designed to steal personal details and money. Cifas is pleased to learn that paid-for advertisements will be included in the Online Safety Bill, following months of campaigning by ourselves and our partners. In the earlier proposed version of this Bill, criminal activity could have avoided falling under the scope of the Bill by merely paying to place the content online – a significant loophole that this addition has closed.

‘By putting responsibility on major online platforms to prevent fraudulent adverts, in addition to tackling user-generated fraud already covered by the Bill, we hope to see levels of fraud plummet.

‘We look forward to working with DCMS and other organisations on the Online Advertising Programme to reduce the fraudulent abuse of adverts across the full range of online channels in order to make life even tougher for fraudsters.’


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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