The public can now call a new COVID Fraud Hotline anonymously and free of charge to report suspected fraudulent activity.
The government are working with the independent charity Crimestoppers, to bring this new hotline to the public on 0800 587 5030.
Over 150 Coronavirus support schemes have been introduced to help those struggling financially during the outbreak. Only a minority of individuals have taken advantage of the schemes, by claiming support illegally.
Speaking from the Crimestoppers’ call centre today, Cabinet office Minister, Julia Lopez said:
“Many people work hard to pay their taxes, so it’s a gross injustice that fraudsters are shamefully taking advantage of measures set up to help people during the lockdown.
“We cannot let criminals profit from the COVID crisis, as every pound stolen by fraudsters could be invested in our vital public services. This is why we are urging the public to report any information to the Crimestoppers COVID Fraud Hotline.
Chief Executive of Crimestoppers, Mark Hallas OBE said:
“Fraud against the public purse denies access to vital funds that benefit us all.
“It’s crucial that anyone who has information or knows of someone who has fraudulently claimed Government grants or loans to contact our charity completely anonymously and tell us what you know.
“The COVID Fraud Hotline is open 24/7, 365 days a year on 0800 587 5030 or fill in the simple and secure anonymous form at Covidfraudhotline.org. You’ll be doing the right thing to help ensure the public purse is protected from fraudsters.”
Although fraud is a hidden crime, the public can still look for tell tale signs. For example, unusual buying activity, cold calling by those falsely claiming that they’re from the government and offering money for schemes.
The government and the independent charity Crimestoppers have partnered to provide an anonymous hotline to ensure public resources paid for by the taxpayer for vital services like hospitals and schools are guarded.