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Update on investigation work during COVID-19 issued by Serious Fraud Office

14 May 2020

THE SERIOUS Fraud Office (SFO) has issued a statement outlining that, despite the constraints imposed by COVID-19, the organisation continues to investigate suspected fraud, bribery and corruption, adapting ways of working where necessary in order to adhere to Government guidance.

The SFO remains open for staff performing essential functions which cannot be done remotely, but all staff who are able to do so are working from home, using remote alternatives to tasks usually completed face-to-face and prioritising work which can be transacted remotely. In this way, the organisation has been able to continue to follow active lines of inquiry in open investigations, as well as looking into allegations and referrals at the pre-investigation stage.

The priority at this time is to minimise the health risk to staff and to all those who come into contact with the SFO. The organisation is following the latest Government advice and working closely with partners in the public and private sector to ensure this is the case.

Information for victims and witnesses

Investigations into suspected fraud, bribery and corruption continue, and the SFO is working alongside its partners in Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service to ensure that court proceedings can go ahead as soon as practicable.

At the present time, the SFO is unable to deal with physical correspondence sent by post. All correspondence should be sent electronically to public.enquiries@sfo.gov.uk or, if the correspondence is ongoing, to the relevant member of staff.

Individuals who wish to report allegations of fraud to the SFO should use the secure reporting form on the organisation's website.

Detail for legal representatives

The SFO continues to process electronic information. Case teams will contact those involved with relevant information relating to adapted ways of working. If individuals have any questions about the particulars of their client’s situation, they should contact the relevant case team directly.

COVID-19 fraud

As has been reported by Security Matters, fraudsters are using the uncertainty of the Coronavirus crisis to scam innocent people out of their money. The SFO is united with its law enforcement partners in its desire to prevent such fraud and hold the perpetrators to account.

Suspicious text messages should be forwarded to 7726. Report suspicious e-mails by forwarding the original message to report@phishing.gov.uk