HMRC team to tackle web criminals

HM Revenue & Customs are setting up a team to tackle criminals targeting its online systems used by the public to apply for the repayment of VAT, self-assessment and other forms of tax which they have overpaid.

A team of 13 online security specialists is currently being set up and should be fully functional ‘within months’, according to a spokeswoman from the department.

The team will investigate frauds targeting the repayment systems, such as those where criminals use bogus identities to recoup tax they have never paid, or submit fake invoices online.

According to HMRC, the team’s activities will include the creation reporting channels for attempted hijacks or misuse of passwords and shutting down fake websites claiming to belong to HMRC.

It will also investigate organised crime groups targeting online services and will also work in partnership with other government departments and commercial organisations to reduce and tackle the threat from online crime across the public and private sector.

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