As part of its commitment to fraud prevention, Callcredit has become the first credit reference agency to offer online fraud warnings from CIFAS, the UK's fraud prevention service, as a standalone, pay-as-you-go solution.

The service is exclusively available to the 240 member organisations of CIFAS which are spread across banking, credit cards, asset finance, retail credit, mail order, investment management, telecommunications, factoring and share dealing..

Historically, the UK's credit reference agencies have only made CIFAS data available as part of a full credit reference service, which meant access was only viable for lenders in credit and finance sectors - the main users of credit reference services.

Callcredit, in consultation with CIFAS, decided that there was a clear need to make this identity fraud prevention data available to a wider audience in an easy to implement, cost-effective and timely way.

Identity fraud is a growing problem in the UK. According to the Cabinet Office, it cost the UK economy £1.3 billion in 2002. Other sources estimate that identity fraud accounts for a criminal cashflow of £10 million per day.

Callcredit product director Graham Lund said:

"Customers outside the credit arena are increasingly seeing the value in being able to verify a person's identity for both retail and non-retail transactions. Often clients are keen to continue to use their existing in-house or external anti-money laundering and fraud solutions but may want to supplement these with additional data checks such as CIFAS.

"By offering access to CIFAS on a pay-as-you-go basis without such a check being inextricably tied to a full credit check, Callcredit is making it easier for organisations to combat the growing menace of identity fraud."