HMRC sets up new cyber-crime team to tackle tax fraud

Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has revealed plans to establish a new cyber-crime team that will be used to proactively tackle tax fraud being carried out by organised criminals. 

The team will aim to protect the Exchequer from cyber criminals that are using increasingly sophisticated ways to target its repayment systems.

Funding will be provided by the National Cyber Security Programme to recruit technical experts, analysts and investigators. 

“As more and more of HMRC’s systems move online, cyber criminals will look to exploit any opportunity to attack the repayment system,” said David Gauke, Exchequer Secretary. 

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“In the last year alone, customers reported over 200,000 bogus emails purporting to come from HMRC and, as a result, HMRC shut down close to 1,000 bogus websites,” he added. 

HMRC is also planning to deploy new technology to enable investigators with real-time intelligence of criminal activities, which will then be presented to its operational risk and security teams.

In recent years the government has classed cyber security as a top priority for the country, where £650m has been allocated as part of the National Cyber Security Programme to fight against cyber-attacks up until 2014.