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Off the Rails - ID Fraud

The Times reveals that the identities of thousands of rail workers have been stolen by criminal gangs and used to steal millions of pounds from the Treasury.

One in seven staff at Network Rail has been caught up in the tax credit fraud that has plunged the tax system into chaos and could turn out to be Britain’s biggest benefit scam.

Last month it emerged that 13,000 Jobcentre workers had had their identities stolen and there are fears that other leading companies have also been targeted by the gangs. Suspicions are mounting that HM Revenue and Customs insiders are involved in the fraud.

Network Rail was alerted to the problem by Revenue officials last week and a criminal investigation is now under way. John Armitt, chief executive of Network Rail, yesterday sent a letter to all 30,000 staff at the company to allay fears over the fraud and its potential impact on legitimate tax credit payments and credit ratings.

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