A new service has launched which encourages confidential reporting of suspected fraud or corruption.

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) says SFO Confidential will enable “concerned individuals to help expose situations that might deserve a closer look”. Anyone in an organisation or connected through business or providers of professional services, and with some inside knowledge of suspect practices, can call the SFO on a dedicated hotline or lodge a report online.

The new SFO Confidential reporting service is designed to cater specifically for people who, though not themselves the victim of fraud or directly disadvantaged by corruption, have knowledge through their professional activities of situations that appear to be suspicious. Whistleblowers can call a special number and talk through their concerns with an SFO Confidentialadvisor. A whistleblower’s identity will be securely protected, and contact can be made anonymously if preferred.

SFO Director Richard Alderman said, “I want people to come forward and tell us if they think there is fraud or corruption going on in their workplace. Company executives, staff, professional advisors, business associates of various kinds or trade competitors can talk to us in confidence.

“I have set up a special team to make the SFO readily accessible to whistleblowers, with trained staff sympathetic in dealing with any anxieties people might have about coming forward. I want whistleblowers to feel comfortable about it and use SFO Confidential to help flush out fraud.”