Ellie Ames 27 November 2023

West Suffolk defrauded of £52,000

West Suffolk defrauded of £52,000 image
Image: Pungu x / Shutterstock.com

West Suffolk Council has revealed that it lost £52,000 in a fraud incident this year.

Last week, the local authority’s performance and audit scrutiny committee heard that fraudsters had hacked into a supplier’s email system and contacted its customers, including the council.

A payment was then made to the company. West Suffolk said it was the first time it had been defrauded in this way.

The council said it had subsequently updated its internal audit fraud response plan, put on a training programme for its invoice processors, and set up a report to highlight any account changes in its supplier base.

Cabinet member for resources Diane Hind said: ‘Although we did catch the fraud and stopped further funds going out, unfortunately this was after payment had been made.

‘We have been in contact with the company whose security was breached and the email supplier as well as strengthening and re-enforcing our own practices.

‘This is prevalent crime that is very hard to solve and prosecute and we would want to see much more focus nationally on this.’

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