NEW HOTLINE TO REPORT COVID FRAUDSTERS

In an initiative between government and the independent charity Crimestoppers, a new hotline has been launched to help stop criminals profiting from the coronavirus crisis.

More than 150 Covid support schemes have been introduced by the government to help those struggling financially, but a minority of individuals have been abusing these schemes by claiming loans and grants illegally.

Specific types of fraud could include identity theft to obtain loans, false claims for grants, misrepresentation and use of mule accounts.

The hotline, which will be open 24/7, 365 days of the year on 0800 587 5030, has been set up so we can anonymously call to report suspected fraudulent activity free of charge.

Although fraud is a hidden crime and can take a great deal of time to be discovered, the public can still look out for tell-tale signs which include unusual buying activity by companies and individuals and cold calling by those falsely claiming they are from the Government offering money for schemes.