Wirral Borough Council duped out of £46,000

Fraudsters duped a Merseyside council of almost £46,000, the authority says.

Wirral Borough Council is investigating why payment-authorisation procedures were not followed before the payment was made, to an account apparently linked to a care home's email.

After discovering it to be a fraudulent transaction, the council reported the matter to the national fraud team. The money has not been recovered.

The council said it was "unacceptable" proper checks had not been not made.

However, it confirmed no-one had been suspended in connection with the payment.

'Taking appropriate action'

In August, the council's finance department received an email from what appeared to be the correct address for the care home requesting the payment to be made into a different account.

Joe Blott, strategic director for transformation and resources, said: "Fraudsters targeted the council, which led to a payment of £45,683 being made to an incorrect account.

"This was reported to the police as soon as we became aware of it and subsequently to Action Fraud.

"We have mandatory checks and procedures in place to prevent fraud and error. However, clearly on this occasion these were not followed.

"This is unacceptable and we will be taking appropriate action."

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