Magazine article Public Finance

Senior Rail Staff 'Were Tax Fraud Victims'

Magazine article Public Finance

Senior Rail Staff 'Were Tax Fraud Victims'

Article excerpt

Network Rail this week revealed that two of its senior executives were among 4,300 staff targeted by criminals in Whitehall's multi-million pound tax credits fraud.

Deputy chief executive lain Coucher and group director for government and corporate affairs Victoria Fender were both victims of fraudsters who obtained personal details, including National Insurance numbers, of the organisation's staff last year.

A spokesman for Network Rail confirmed the executives' names to Public Finance. 'Fraudsters effectively hacked the personal details of both, and obtained details of 4,300 of our staff, he said.

Some of the stolen data was used to obtain tax credits paid by Whitehall's Revenue & Customs department. In a similar incident, organised criminals stole details of 8,800 staff at the Department for Work and Pensions last year.

Police investigations into both incidents continue.

However, the spokesman said that officials were confident that the breach of security that led to the tax credits fraud came from outside of Network Rail".

That will merely fuel fears that criminals are finding it easy to access personal details of both public service staff and the wider public in attempting to defraud the benefits system. …

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