Financial snoopers target tax offices
Monday 24 October 1994
An internal memorandum warns officials to beware of an ingenious trick used by companies which specialise in the supply of information about individuals' financial affairs.
The simple 'sting' operation begins when the trickster rings a taxpayer's accountant - or other source of information - posing as a Revenue employee.
The accountant is asked a series of questions and invited to ring a genuine Inland Revenue switchboard number with the answers.
The bogus caller, still posing as an official, then contacts the Revenue office, and asks the switchboard personnel to field the call rather than pass it to a department. The 'sting' comes when the snooper telephones the accountant again pretending to be a Revenue employee returning his call.
Management's memo reminds staff that thay have a 'personal legal obligation' to safeguard private material. 'It is vitally important . . . that you positively identify telephone inquiries or personal callers who are seeking confidential information.
'Some bogus inquiries may appear to have a considerable knowledge of Revenue practice and internal procedures.'
The document says the trick has been used at tax offices in Bournemouth and Bromley, and registers concern that it could be used elsewhere. The memo tells staff: 'Remember to be always on your guard when confidentiality and taxpayer privacy are at stake.'
Clive Brooke, leader of the Inland Revenue Staff Federation, said: 'The threat from bogus inquiries demonstrates how foolish it is to put confidentiality at risk by closing local tax offices and switching their functions to large anonymous offices where staff have less personal knowledge of the people they are dealing with. The Government's policy of contracting out tax work will make the position far worse.'
- 1 California man brutally beat 82-year-old Sikh grandfather he mistook for 'one of those people'
- 3 School kitchen manager 'fired from Colorado school for giving hungry students free lunches'
- 5 Charles Kennedy 'had better judgement drunk than many sober politicians' says Ian Hislop
California man brutally beat 82-year-old Sikh grandfather he mistook for 'one of those people'
Amber Peat: Body found in search for missing 13-year-old who left house after argument with her parents
School kitchen manager 'fired from Colorado school for giving hungry students free lunches'
Alton Towers closed after horror crash on The Smiler raises safety questions for theme park
Alton Towers crash: Four guests seriously injured as Smiler ride carriages collide
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination
Migrants in Kos: Photos show real tragedy after Brits abroad complain of 'awkward' holidays
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
Michael Gove determined to scrap the Human Rights Act – even if Scotland retains it
Threat to scrap Human Rights Act could see UK follow Nazi example, warns UN official
Church of England 'one generation away from extinction' after dramatic loss of followers
£40000 - £47000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A 3rd Line Virtualisation / Sto...
£26000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A successful national service f...
£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...
£17500 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We currently require an experie...