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Definition of 'CIFAS'

The UK’s fraud prevention service, founded in 1988 by lenders looking to reduce fraud losses. CIFAS currently has around 270 members from the banking industry including banking, credit cards, asset finance, retail credit, mail order, insurance, savings and investments, telecommunications, factoring, and share dealing. These members provide information on identified frauds to CIFAS, which is a not for profit organisation, set up to prevent further fraud and financial crime. Since the Serious Crime Act 2007, public authorities are now able to join CIFAS, provided they are able to reciprocally share information.

Only two types of CIFAS warnings, known as CIFAS Case Types, are visible to consumers on credit reports. These are Protective Registration and Victim of Impersonation.

Protective Registration is commonly used if a consumer has been a victim of identity fraud, or if there is reason to believe that he or she is at risk of becoming a victim.

CIFAS warnings are never a cause for an application to be declined, but do require the lender to carry out extra verification checks to establish the identity of the applicant.

For this reason CIFAS fraud warnings are not classed as adverse information on credit reports, are not permitted to be included in any automated credit scoring or lending decision processes.

See also Subject Access Request and Hunter.

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