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What is CIFAS?

Key Facts

  • CIFAS is the UK’s independent fraud prevention service.
  • It aims to detect and prevent fraud, and protect people whose names, addresses or other details are used fraudulently.
  • Appearing on the CIFAS database won’t affect your Experian Credit Score; neither will it stop you from getting credit. 

What is CIFAS?

If you’ve been a victim of fraud, and spoken to your bank or another financial institution about it, it’s likely that you are on the CIFAS database.

Most banks and financial institutions in the UK are members of CIFAS. They use the CIFAS database to help them check credit applications.

Experian are also a member of CIFAS. We use the CIFAS database when people sign up to CreditExpert, to check that we are only giving you sight of your credit report data. 

 

Will being on the CIFAS database affect my credit score?

No, being on the CIFAS database won’t affect your credit score; neither will it stop you from getting credit.

If you are on the CIFAS database, this will show up on your credit report.

It may mean it takes longer for your credit applications to be approved because banks and financial institutions will thoroughly check your application to make sure it isn’t fraudulent.

 

Here’s an example of what would happen:

Mrs. Cooper was a victim of fraud 2 years ago. She is now on the CIFAS database. She applies for a new credit card with Smith’s Bank. Smith’s Bank receive her application, and their systems recognise that she is on the CIFAS database. Her application has to go through a manual process so that the bank can check that this credit card application is legitimate, and that it isn’t fraudulent (i.e., someone else applying for a credit card in Mrs. Cooper’s name, with no intention of paying back what they spend).

This manual process takes a little longer to process because Smiths Bank are taking care to ensure that Mrs. Cooper is not a victim of fraud again.

 

Can I join the CIFAS database?

If you think you may be a victim of identity fraud you can ask CIFAS to put you on their database (for a small fee). Banks and financial institutions will then take extra care when processing credit applications made in your name.

To apply for ‘Protective Registration’ you will need to supply proof of identity and a few other pieces of information. You can do this over the phone, by calling 0330 100 0180 (8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday)

 

My CIFAS information is wrong

If you think the CIFAS warning on your credit report is incorrect, then you should contact us on 0344 481 0800. 

Lines are open Mon - Fri 8am - 7pm, Saturday 8am - 4pm, and closed on Sundays. Charges for calling 03 numbers are the same as for calls made to standard UK landline phone numbers starting 01 or 02. If your landline or mobile phone package means you can call an 01 or 02 number as part of ‘free’ inclusive minutes, the same will apply to calling our 03 numbers