Scammers made off with up to £1m of National Health Service money in the first six months of 2021, using the same tricks that have conned consumers out of their life savings

Criminals have sent fake invoices from email addresses with similar names to genuine companies and emails pretending to be from bosses demanding money is sent to phantom suppliers, according to data released by the NHS’s counter-fraud authority under Freedom of Information laws.

They have also stolen money through hacks and fraudulent phone calls.

The figure compares to losses of up to £1.3m for all of 2020. In that year, UK consumers were conned into sending £479m to fraudsters using similar means, only half of which was refunded by banks.

In the same way that ordinary consumers have been targeted by scammers pretending to be from their bank or a parcel company, fraudsters targeting the NHS will pose as executives, IT support workers or bank staff to…

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