Covid-19 Fraud Risks NIAO August 2020

01 September 2020

It is widely accepted that fraud risks increase in times of change or crisis. The coronavirus pandemic and the resulting emergency measures put in place, for example the payment of business support grants, have significantly increased the opportunities for fraudsters.

There is already clear evidence that fraudsters have been quick to seize upon such opportunities, with many stories in the media about organisations and individuals suffering financial loss as a result.

Raising awareness is key.

Unless an organisation is alive to the new risks, it won’t be in a position to mitigate those risks.

Many counter-fraud organisations have been pro-active in highlighting both existing and emerging fraud risks associated with the pandemic. This short Guide draws that information together to provide a quick point of reference for NI public sector organisations. It highlights the key risks and sets out the controls that can mitigate those risks.

 

 

Further information is available from a range of organisations:

• Government

– https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/fraud-control-in-emergency-management-covid-19-uk-government-guide

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-fraud-and-cyber-crime

• NHS Counter Fraud Authority – https://cfa.nhs.uk/fraud-prevention/COVID-19-guidance

• Action Fraud – https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/campaign/covid-19-guidance-and-advice

• Fraud Advisory Panel – https://www.fraudadvisorypanel.org/covid-fraud-watch-group/

• National Cyber Security Centre – https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/

• Audit Scotland – https://www.audit-scotland.gov.uk/uploads/docs/report/2020/briefing_200723_covid.pdf

• International Public Sector Fraud Forum – https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/864310/Fraud_in_Emergency_Management_and_Recovery_10Feb.pdf