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Survey reveals 4 in 5 fraud prevention professionals believe businesses unprepared for 2020 fraud levels

19 October 2020
  • Three quarters of fraud prevention professionals warn that COVID-19 will have a ‘significant’ impact of fraud
  • More than 90% warn of fraud spikes in 2020 and 2021

Research carried out by Cifas, the UK’s leading fraud prevention service, shows that 80% of fraud prevention professionals believe businesses are unprepared for an expected surge in fraud as the Covid-19 crisis presents fraudsters with new opportunities.

The results come as part of a survey carried out among professionals from some of the UK’s leading organisations and financial institutions at the recent Cifas Annual Conference.

Nearly three-quarters of those attending the conference believed that COVID-19 and its economic effects would have a ‘significant’ impact on levels of fraud, with Cifas warning that the pandemic has presented fraudsters with ways to steal money and information from the public.

The majority of those surveyed (91%) said levels of fraud this year would be higher or much higher than in 2019. This follows the announcement by Cifas earlier this year that incidents of reported fraudulent conduct reached an all-time high in 2019. Cifas members recorded over 364,000 cases to the National Fraud Database in 2019 - the highest number recorded to the database.

More worryingly, almost all of the fraud prevention professionals (93%) said they believed the level of fraud would be higher or much higher in 2021 when compared to 2020.

Nick Downing, Chief Intelligence Officer for Cifas, said: ‘On top of the fact that eighty percent of fraud prevention professionals think businesses are unprepared for the current levels of fraud, they are also warning that 2021 could see one of the biggest spikes in fraudulent activity. This should sound alarm bells for the business community.

‘The continuing challenges around the COVID-19 pandemic as well as uncertainty around the economy are presenting new opportunities for fraudsters. Now more than ever, businesses need to ensure that they have robust fraud prevention procedures in place and that their staff are well prepared to take on the growing challenge of fraud over the coming year.’


For more information contact:
Corinne Gladstone
Head of Communications, Cifas
T: +44 (0)20 3004 3654

Notes to editors

The survey was carried out amongst attendees at the Cifas Annual Conference. The lead sponsor for the Cifas Annual Conference was Mitek, a global leader in digital identity verification built on the latest advancements in computer vision and artificial intelligence. Find out more about Mitek here.

The results were as follows:

About Cifas

Cifas is an independent, not-for-profit membership organisation that protects businesses and individuals through effective and secure data and intelligence sharing between the private, public and third sectors. In 2019, Cifas member organisations prevented over £1.5 billion of fraud losses.

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.

Posted by: Cifas Press Team

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