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More than £53,000 of your money could have been lost to fraudsters targeting County Hall

PUBLISHED: 06:30 13 April 2019 | UPDATED: 16:56 16 April 2019

Norfolk County Council has reported potential losses of £53,100 to fraud in the past year. Picture Rawpixel.com

Norfolk County Council has reported potential losses of £53,100 to fraud in the past year. Picture Rawpixel.com

Rawpixel.com - Fotolia

Tens of thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money could have been lost to fraudsters targeting County Hall in the past year - it has been revealed.

A report going before Norfolk County Council's audit committee addressing the impact of fraud on County Hall has revealed potential losses of £53,100 in the financial year ending March 2019.

And while it is a figure that may still be recovered, it is significantly larger than the £20,160 the council was successfully able to recoup last year.

Over the course of the financial year, 16 separate cases of potential fraud were reported, six of which are still ongoing investigations.

A spokesman for Norfolk County Council said: “We can not comment on individual cases as several are subject to ongoing legal proceedings.

“Given the size of the county council, cases of fraud are very rare, but we take every case very seriously and have robust systems in place to detect and prevent them from happening.

“Our IT department regularly test for vulnerabilities and we communicate regularly to staff about the importance of cyber security.”

Earlier this year it was revealed the county council faces tens of thousands of cyber attacks every day, including around a dozen a day that pose serious risks.

One particular cyber crime involved a bank account of the council, through which payments can be made to county council services.

This account was targeted seven times in 2017/18, which resulted in the loss of £180 to the council. Had this not been detected it would then have resulted in the loss of a further £2,160.

This was again targeted by cyber attack in the past year on nine separate occasions - with the potential loss of £3,000.

However, successful measures put into place to combat this particular type of attack meant nothing was lost.

The County Hall spokesman added: “The £53,100 figure is a 'worst case' scenario, so it may be that the actual final figure is lower.”

The report will be discussed by Norfolk County Council's audit committee on Thursday, April 18.

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