1. When should I nominate, rather than register, an
If you are the first user (usually the main contact) of an organisation, or you
work on your own, then you should use the registration process. If you want to
share SARs with other users in your organisation, then one person should share
the organisation and then the others should be nominated. This will set up a
Please also refer to the advice for large corporate groups in the New User Registration Section if you are in a large organisation.
2. I didn't receive my Activation Code 2 email.
The website is monitored to make sure that emails are successfully sent. However, your own organisation may have quarantined the email when it was received. You should contact your support desk in the first instance, to see if the email has been received by your organisation.
You cannot regenerate the second Activation Code on its own. If (for any reason) you want to regenerate the Activation Codes, then the easiest way to do this is to navigate to the Activation page and enter incorrect Activation Codes three times. This will permanently invalidate the Activation Codes you had generated, and allow you to restart the registration or nomination process again.
3. My Activation Codes didn't work.
If the Activation Codes fail to work, check the following:
- The CAPS LOCK key is not engaged (the codes are case-sensitive)
- You are entering the six characters exactly as per the phonetic description
- You have not entered incorrect codes more than twice (the codes will have
- You have been supplied with the correct code by your nominator
If these suggestions do not help, you may have to regenerate the Activation Codes - see the instructions under the FAQ ‘I didn't receive my Activation Code 2 email’.
4. How should I send Activation Code 1 to the person I have nominated?
The safest method of transmission is by hand delivery of the email. You can also safely send the code by internal email within your organisation, or pass on the code on the telephone (being careful to get the characters and case exactly right).
You should not transmit the code by email across the public internet, as this is the route by which the Activation Code 2 will arrive. This would allow an attacker to break just one means of delivery to take control of both codes, and access your shared area on the website.
5. Do I need to keep my Activation Codes after I have activated my account?
No, you will not need these codes again. If you need to reset your password, or
re-register your source, you will get new codes.
6. SAR Online points out that the Activation Codes will
expire after seven days. What does this mean?
The Activation Codes - Code 1 which is displayed on-screen after registration
or nomination and Code 2 which is emailed to the new account - will expire
after seven days. If you do not use both Activation Codes within this period
your nomination or registration will be withdrawn. If this happens you should
complete the registration or nomination process again and new Activation Codes
will be generated.
7. I have forgotten my password. Can the NCA reset it for
The site is designed for self-administration of passwords. If you have forgotten your password, then you should follow these steps:
In order to generate a password reset you will need to attempt to log in to SAR Online using an incorrect password that fulfils the password criteria - it should be between 8 and 16 characters, containing at least one UPPERCASE or lowercase (A-Z) letter and a minimum of one decimal digit number (0-9).
By entering your email address, an incorrect password and the disguised code you will generate a password hint button at the bottom of the page next to Login and Cancel (you may need to scroll down).
By entering the disguised code and selecting the password hint button, a password hint will be emailed to you. In order to reset your password, you will need to attempt to log in again after having requested a password hint. By entering your email address, an incorrect password and the disguised code you will now generate a reset password button at the bottom of the page where you previously had the password hint button.
If you now enter the disguised code and select reset password, you will generate new Activation Codes, enabling you to reactivate your account and then change your password.
Activation Code 1 will appear on the screen. You should make a careful note of the code or print it if possible. It cannot be retrieved after this screen. Activation Code 2 will be sent as an email. Please note the codes are case sensitive.
8. I am trying to log in, but the site is working very
To prevent people trying to crack your password, the site gets slower each time
an incorrect password is entered. If you have had more than five attempts, you
should consider generating a password reset (detailed on this page).
The first time you enter the correct details, the delay will be reset.
If someone has been attempting to break your password without your knowledge,
this will have been recorded. You do not need to take any additional action and
you will not experience any delay.
9. I get a message ‘unable to download login page’.
If you have failed to login a number of times, the delay imposed to deter attacks may be causing your browser to time out, especially across slow connections. As a rule, you should use the password hint and reset your password.
10. I have not received my second Activation Code, however a colleague has received theirs successfully. Why?
If a number of users from the same organisation are nominated in quick succession, it is possible that intrusion detectors will label multiple messages from the same source and with the same subject as spam. Consequently this may cause them to be misrouted via a spam filter. Users should contact their IT administrator to clarify whether this is the case and subsequently get the spam detector facility removed from anything received from the UKFIU email address.
If this is not the case, please email the SAR Online Support team (firstname.lastname@example.org) stating you are missing the Activation Code 2 email. Please also include the date and time of registration/nomination and the email address for the SAR Online account you are trying to activate.
11. Should I submit a SAR?
The NCA is not permitted to provide any form of legal advice or guidance as to whether a SAR should be submitted or not. If you are unsure, you should contact your regulator or trade body. If you are not part of the regulated sector, please contact the Citizens Advice Bureau on 03444 111 444. They may be able to reinforce your decision on whether to submit or not. Additionally, please make full use of the SAR documents and guidance available on the NCA website.
Please note that a SAR is not a crime report; it is an obligation under POCA or TACT and, unlike crime reports, not all SARs are investigated by law enforcement. The NCA makes the SARs database available to law enforcement and each enforcement agency makes their own decision to view and/or investigate the SARs attributed to their force area, based on local operational priorities.
If you believe a crime has been committed that requires a law enforcement investigation, the NCA strongly suggests that you report it to the appropriate law enforcement agency. The NCA do not handle crime reports.
12. If I decide not to send a SAR, what happens to the
If you enter information in a SAR, you can delete each page in turn or the
whole SAR. None of the deleted information will be stored or transmitted to the NCA.
13. How can I be sure the information I send is secure?
The Technical Information page describes how to check that you are submitting information across a secure connection. The site itself has been fully tested and approved for security.
14. How will I know that my information has been
The NCA will respond to your SAR submission with an acknowledgement email, which contains your SAR Online reference number and the seven-digit Unique Reference Number allocated on successful receipt of your SAR. You should store this carefully along with your record of the information you submitted.
15. What happens to the information I send?
The Information pages give a full description of SAR processing. Please read
them before using the site.
16. What records should I keep?
You should retain a copy of the submitted SAR by printing or saving the SAR prior to final submission. You should also save the SAR acknowledgement email when you receive it, or note the seven-digit Unique Reference Number against your saved copy of the SAR.
17. I can't save a SAR to my computer.
Your security settings may have prevented you saving files from the internet to
your local drive. Please contact your local IT support desk.
18. I can't print a SAR to my local printer.
The site has been tested with common makes of printer, but some older or less
common makes may not print effectively. Save the SAR to a file, open and print
it from your usual editing program.
19. The owner of a SAR changed.
The owner of a SAR is the person who last changed the information contained in
20. A SAR is shown as being locked on my SAR list.
Another user from your group is editing the SAR.
21. A SAR is shown as being locked, even though no-one
is editing it.
The most likely explanation is that the last editor of the SAR lost or broke
their connection while editing, leaving it locked. That person should log in
again to clear the locks and then log out correctly using the link provided. If
this is not possible the locks will be cleared automatically after 12 hours.
22. The View page allows me to edit the SAR.
This is correct. The view mode allows you to see the full SAR information on
one page, but you are still free to select an area of the SAR and continue
23. My SAR has disappeared from my SAR list.
If you are working in a group, and the SAR was set to ‘Shared’, then another user may have submitted or deleted the SAR. Set SARs to ‘Private’ to prevent this happening.
24. I have reached my maximum number of SARs and cannot
open a new SAR or view other users' SARs.
If you own the maximum number of SARs you will be prevented from opening a
new SAR or viewing other users' SARs. To remedy this situation you will need to
reduce your number of owned SARs by either:
- Submitting a completed SAR
- Deleting any of your draft SARs
- Ask a colleague with space capacity (i.e. someone who owns less than the maximum allowed number of SARs) to take possession of any of your SARs by editing them. This user should then refresh their session using the ‘refresh’ button on the browser toolbar. You should then refresh your own session in the same manner. This will allow you to start a new SAR or edit an existing one
25. The transaction page says that I have missing
mandatory fields, but I have not entered a transaction. Why?
Some fields (Credit/Debit, Currency and Type) are mandatory but only when other
items are entered into the page. The transaction details can be left blank
provided no other information is entered.
26. I didn’t save or print a copy of the SAR I submitted. Can I get a copy from the NCA?
Unfortunately the NCA is not able to provide copies of SARs. Once a SAR arrives into the NCA’s database it becomes restricted data and therefore cannot be transmitted to a non-secure email, postal or fax address.
The NCA UKFIU does not see a copy of the submission before it lands in the database; this is a completely automated and instantaneous process.
27. The site is hard to see.
The site is designed to work at a resolution of 1024x768 pixels, but will be
usable at a resolution of 800x600, where the text will appear bigger.
28. The site is hard to use.
There is a full description of how the site works in the information pages on
the site itself. In addition, the site provides brief help on each page, and
pop-up text for fields on the screen.
29. I can't see a padlock in the Browser window.
This could indicate that your browser does not support the correct level of
security. You should check that your system meets the requirements described in
the Technical Information section on this site.
30. I get a message ‘The page cannot be displayed’.
You may have typed the website address incorrectly, or the website may be unavailable. If you are sure that you have got the address correct then please be patient and the site should become available again shortly.
31. Should I reply to the emails when I have a problem?
The information and help text has been designed to help you use the
self-administration facilities on the site. Please do not reply to the
Activation Code 2 or SAR confirmation emails as they are sent from an
unmonitored, automated mailbox.
32. I can't work out the obscured 5-digit code.
If you enter an incorrect code, or just refresh the screen (F5 in Internet
Explorer), you will be offered another code to try. There are a number of
different backgrounds, and you should eventually get one which suits you.
33. The site keeps logging me out.
The site will log you out if you don't use the links on the screens to
navigate. In particular, the Back button should not be used while entering SAR
information. You will also be logged out if you have not saved your SAR or
moved between pages for a long time. Be sure to use the Save button regularly
if you are typing a lot of additional information.
34. My tooltips keep flashing.
This is a known issue on certain configurations. As a workaround, try changing the Windows font size.
35. The tooltips disappear before I have finished
36. I have logged in with the correct password but the
system forced me to change my password. Why?
As a security measure, the system will force you to change your password from
time to time. This measure is enforced upon all users irrespective of their
level of activity.
37. I think my password is known by someone else. What
should I do?
SAR Online will assume that all activity under your login ID is done by
you, and will not distinguish another individual who might be using your login ID
- with or without your knowledge. Therefore, if you know or suspect that your
password is known by someone else, you should change your password immediately.
The area in SAR Online where you can change your password is found by logging
in and navigating to the User Administration page.
38. The website is running slowly.
As you type more information into the SAR, it takes longer to send the
information across the internet. Depending on the speed of your connection,
this can cause a delay of several seconds. The internet or the website may also
be very busy, which can further affect performance.
39. Can we update our main contact details?
In order to update your SAR Online account details, the new main contact will need to register for a new SAR Online account. The main contact details for your existing account cannot be updated or amended.
By registering for a new account as a new user, your account will contain new updated main contact details. You can then nominate users to have access to this new account.
If the individual who will be the main contact for your new account already has access to SAR Online, they will need to delete the existing account access via the User Administration Menu within the existing SAR Online account.
After having created a new account with updated contact information, any nominated users accessing the previous account who wish to access the new account will also need to delete their access. They can then be nominated to use the new account. This process needs to take place because an email address can only be associated to one account at any one time.
40. Can the NCA un-freeze my bank account?
No, you will need to address this issue directly with your bank.