Covid Crimestoppers hotline launches to catch business loan fraudsters

The UK government has launched a Covid fraud hotline, after being criticised for failing to act on warnings about fraud risks linked to emergency business loans.



a hand holding a cell phone: Photograph: Yui Mok/PA


© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Yui Mok/PA

The hotline, run by Crimestoppers, allows the public to leave anonymous tips about suspected fraud linked to the government’s emergency Covid loan and grant schemes for UK businesses. That could include identity theft to obtain loans, false grant claims and the use of so-called mule bank accounts to cover the tracks of money launderers.



a hand holding a cell phone: The public is being asked to report suspicions, such as of identity theft to obtain government loans.


© Photograph: Yui Mok/PA
The public is being asked to report suspicions, such as of identity theft to obtain government loans.

The government has been criticised for failing to act on warnings about potential fraud linked to the bounce-back loans scheme (BBLS), which was designed to distribute cheap loans quickly of up to £50,000 to small businesses.

Related: Organised crime in UK

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