Nottinghamshire County Council working hard to protect Hucknall taxpayers’ money from cybercrime and fraudsters
Nottinghamshire County Council is continuing to ensure robust measures are in place to safeguard public money against falling into the hands of fraudsters.
Council staff are working tirelessly to ensure money from taxpayers in town’s like Hucknall is protected from sophisticated attacks by cybercriminals as the ongoing fight against fraud continues.
In September it was revealed the council had thwarted more than 500 attempts at fraud totalling an eye-watering £4 million since 2016.
The most significant case took place in 2019-20 when a failed attempt was made to steal £2.2 million 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, this week, the 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.
Coun Philip Owen (Con), chairman of the 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.”
The 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 on avoiding fraud on its website here.