Rochdale council is appealing to residents to report suspected fraud after seeing an increase since the start of the coronavirus outbreak.
Fraud victims in the UK have lost more than 4-point-6 million pounds to coronavirus-related scams during lockdown.
Scammers have been attempting to claim government grants intended to help those struggling during the coronavirus pandemic and the council’s counter fraud team are seeing a spike in cases.
Some are linked to the council's work in distributing government business grants to support companies impacted by the virus.
Anyone who suspects that someone is claiming support they’re not entitled to is being asked to report it to the council. All reports are treated anonymously and people reporting fraud are not expected to give their details.
Council leader and cabinet member for finance Allen Brett said the authority is working to ensure that support goes to those who genuinely need it.
He said: “Financial help is available to support residents and businesses affected by coronavirus. But as financial pressures increase, there’s a higher risk of fraud and what we are seeing is a very small minority trying to take advantage. We are also aware of other potential fraudulent activity both nationally and regionally so we are keeping an eye on these issues.
“We must protect public money and our team will always investigate allegations so please get in touch. Even if you suspect fraud that doesn’t directly affect the council, we still want to know. We work alongside other official bodies including; Greater Manchester Police, immigration services, and the Department for Work and Pensions. People can report anonymously.”
Anyone who suspects any kind of fraud in areas including council tax, blue badges, adult care, business rates and grants is asked to email: email@example.com or phone 01706 926100. You can also report it online at: www.rochdale.gov.uk/business-and-industry/trading-standards
People who report, are asked to provide as much information as possible, including details of the allegation, supporting evidence plus details of the alleged offender and any victims.
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