County council working to protect taxpayers’ money against fraudsters
Nottinghamshire County Council is continuing to ensure robust measures are in place to safeguard public money against falling into the hands of fraudsters.
County council staff are working tirelessly to ensure taxpayers’ money is protected from sophisticated attacks by cybercriminals as the ongoing fight against fraud continues.
In September it was revealed the county council had thwarted more than 500 attempts at fraud totalling an eye-watering £4 million since 2016.
The most significant case took place in 2019/2020 when a failed attempt was made to steal £2.2m by using false bank details for a major county council supplier.
Fraudsters have also used the Covid-19 pandemic to take advantage of the public sector increasing urgency to deliver services and meet demand.
Common fraud attempts in the public sector include changes to bank details and false payment requests, deprivation of assets and misuse of direct payments.
Now as part of International Fraud Awareness Week, which runs until Saturday 20 November, the county council has moved to reassure residents it takes a zero-tolerance approach to attempts at fraud and will use the full force of the law against fraudsters.
Councillor Philip Owen, chairman of the county council’s Governance and Ethics Committee, said: “Fraud is illegal and diverts taxpayers’ money away from the provision of essential local public services.
“We’re aware that fraudsters are exploiting the spread of Coronavirus to facilitate various types of fraud and cybercrime for their own gain.
“And despite the success of the county council over the last five years, we can’t rest on our laurels – attempts at fraud happen every day in every part of the UK.
“Unscrupulous fraudsters will unfortunately always be a risk, but our excellent specialist staff are ready and waiting to stop any attempts to steal taxpayers’ money from the county council.”
As part of International Fraud Awareness Week, the county council is also making sure its staff and management teams are following simple measures to help prevent fraud and ultimately protect public money.
Staff are being encouraged to complete a Fraud Awareness e-learning training course, which includes advice from Nottinghamshire Police to be vigilant against fraud, and are also receiving the latest guidance to prevent fraud at work and at home.
In addition, the county council has put together some useful information, links and tips in relation to common scams against the general public.
Residents can check out the county council's fraud awareness advice to help protect themselves and their loved ones from scams on its website.