HM Revenue & Customs shut down its tax credit portal website last week after uncovering an attempt to defraud the system using the identities of Department of Work and Pensions staff.
It is understood that the scammers obtained enough information about individual DPW staff to be able to make fraudulent claims in their names. HMRC said “a criminal investigation” was being carried out into the scammers’ use of the DWP staffers identities.
A spokeswoman for DWP said it was working together with HMRC to investigate the issue, and “none of our staff will be disadvantaged.” She added, “It’s more a personnel issue for us.”
In the meantime, HMRC said it is working on “new checks to ensure the system remains secure.”
This is not the first IT-related crisis to hit the tax credit system. EDS was fired by the revenue after the system it put in place degenerated into chaos, with families being over-paid credits, only to be hit with big claw-back demands from the department. While EDS carried that can for that debacle, plenty of fingers were pointed at the way the revenue developed and ran the tax credit system.
Of course, that hasn't prevented EDS winning other government work, including a nice fat contract with... the DWP.®