CIFAS – the UK’s fraud prevention organisation – has announced that a fraud prevention service designed to protect individuals from identity fraud will now operate at weekends as well as during the normal Monday-Friday working week. The CIFAS Protective Registration Service is offered to people whose details are at risk of being used on a fraudulent basis, for instance after a burglary has taken place during which personal details may have been stolen.
Those whose identities are at risk can contact CIFAS and register their details for a 12-month period. During this time, a warning flag is placed against a given individual’s name and other personal details. The flag tells organisations that additional investigation is required to make sure any credit applications – such as applications for bank accounts, loans or credit cards – are genuine. This means that if a fraudster tries to make a fake application using the stolen identity it will then be flagged up and criminality prevented.
Genuine applications from the individual are processed as normal once their authenticity has been confirmed.
Over 300 organisations – among them High Street banks and other commercial organisations – use the CIFAS system for fraud checks, meaning that the victim is protected from common types of fraud across a wide range of UK organisations including those operating in the financial, telecommunications and retail credit sectors.
Providing protection over 12 months increases security. Victims may have replaced the lost items detailing their identity or set up new accounts, but criminals may attempt to use the data months later.
Previously, individuals have been able to register from Monday to Friday with no access to registration at weekends.
Individual registration for one year costs £20.
Victims may be targeted at any time
Simon Dukes, CEO at CIFAS, commented: “Fraudsters are only too happy to work at weekends. On that basis, we need to offer protection seven days a week. Identity theft victims don’t get to choose when they’re targeted and it’s awful to think of someone realising that their identity could have been stolen on a Friday night, but being able to do little to protect themselves or ease their anxieties until Monday morning.”
Dukes added: “We’re glad that we are now able to offer this service seven days a week. Indeed, we’re always looking for ways in which to improve the protection mechanisms we offer individuals.”
Victims can now apply seven days a week simply by calling 0330 100 0180 (from 8.00 am to 8.00 pm, Monday to Friday and from 9.00 am to 5.00 pm at weekends). The number for people calling from outside the UK is 0044 131 273 3008. As stated, registration lasts for 12 months and will not affect a victim’s credit score.
Individuals wanting to use this service must be victims of identity theft or be at risk of becoming a victim (for example, through data loss).
In 2014 alone, approximately 17,000 people registered their details for the CIFAS Protective Registration Service.
*CIFAS is a not-for-profit member organisation with members spread across the banking world, credit card providers, asset finance, retail credit, mail order, insurance, investment management, telecommunications, factoring, share dealing and the public sector. Members share information on confirmed frauds in the fight to prevent further fraud
**CIFAS also operates a service to protect vulnerable people – a free service offered to Local Authorities