Identity fraud crackdown

Working together, three industry associations have produced a range of training materials to form an Identity Fraud Manual. The three associations are CIFAS, the UK’s Fraud Prevention Service; APACS, the Association of Payment Clearing Services; and the FLA, Finance and Leasing Association.

A manual is being launched today at a London conference on ‘Combating Identity Fraud’. It will include:

• details of how to verify the identity of customers;

• examples of the most common identity documents with details of how to spot forgeries;

• consumer information for organisations to use in customer leaflets, magazines and other communications; and

• best practice guides for internal use by financial services staff

The packs to be distributed for use by front-line and fraud investigation staff include posters and a pocket guide to identity documents.

Identity fraud is the most rapidly rising type of fraud in the UK and CIFAS has been active in the fight against identity fraud for the last 15 years. It is one of the specific areas where CIFAS has been able to offer its partners in this initiative some specialist expertise. Figures supplied by its 200-plus members show that in 2002 there were 74,000 cases of identity and impersonation fraud, up from 53,000 in 2001 compared to just 20,000 in 1999. CIFAS surveys show that even with this huge growth, financial institutions are identifying over 75% of the cases before losses occur, and by investing in this training programme they hope to further improve the detection rate.