Crimestoppers will run the government’s Covid Fraud Hotline, enabling the public to anonymously report people they suspect are abusing government schemes.
The Cabinet Office awarded the charity a £100,000 contract to run the service for one year, with the possibility of extending if needed.
Crimestoppers was awarded the contract after a formal process that involved the Cabinet Office identifying and researching two organisations capable of delivering the service.
Members of the public are being encouraged to use the hotline to report things like unusual buying activity by companies and individuals, as well as cold calling by those falsely claiming that they are from the government and offering money for scheme.
Julia Lopez, Cabinet Office minister, said: “Many people work hard to pay their taxes, so it’s a gross injustice that fraudsters are shamefully taking advantage of measures set up to help people during the lockdown.
“We cannot let criminals profit from the Covid crisis, as every pound stolen by fraudsters could be invested in our vital public services. This is why we are urging the public to report any information to the Crimestoppers COVID Fraud Hotline.”
Mark Hallas, chief executive of Crimestoppers, added: “It’s crucial that anyone who has information or knows of someone who has fraudulently claimed government grants or loans to contact our charity completely anonymously and tell us what you know.”
A phone number, 0800 587 5030, operates 24/7 and there is also a secure anonymous form at Covidfraudhotline.org.