How to get your tax back.

Send your local council an invoice.

A COUNCIL has fallen victim to a scam by bogus recruitment companies - costing taxpayers thousands of pounds.

They send demands, which look exactly like real invoices, and hope they are paid by the payments department.”

The fraudsters worked by addressing the 'invoices' to the individual council officer named in other, genuine adverts.

This made staff believe the demands were genuine.

This is another fundamental difference between the public and private sector.
I work in the private sector, and part of my job is to authorise payment for transport invoices.
Before payment is authorised, I have to attach copies of job request forms and signed consignment notes to each invoice. I also have to check the price quoted against the price invoiced.
If someone sent our company a bogus invoice, not matter how authentic it looked, it would be spotted in five minutes.

The public sector on the other hand, they obviously have no checks in place. They just look at an invoice and decide if it looks genuine before paying it.

That is because they are not working with their own money. They are using our money and they have an endless supply of it.

Ruth Lowry, head of internal audit, described it as a 'sophisticated scam', adding: Although fraudsters stole £21,000, almost £12,000 of further payments were stopped thanks to prompt action once the scam was identified.

If I had done that I would surely get the sack.

The article doesn't mention how long the scam had been going on for, but the monies paid were for placing recruitment adverts in national newspapers. Now I don't know what it cost to advertise a job in a national newspaper but £33,000???

And another thing. If I paid someone to place an advert in the paper on my behalf I would surely check it.

So that's £21,000 that we will never see again. I think I might send an invoice or two to my local council.