Wandsworth Council lost nearly £70,000 after it fell victim to a well-known scam, committee papers have revealed.

Audit committee member and Labour Councillor Peter Carpenter confirmed that a member of staff at the council had mistakenly paid out £63,000 to a fraudulent account in a scheme known as the "Dubai Scam".

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Coun Carpenter said: "It is quite a clever scheme.

"They made a booking for something provided by the council, then paid the invoice in full in advance.

"They paid too much, £70,000 when it should have been £7,000 so asked for the balance back.

"The £63,000 was sent back rather sooner than in should have been and as it was an overseas payment, it did not clear.

"The council did not spot that - there is so much money coming in."

Coun Carpenter said he hoped the incident would not happen again and that he was pleased a warning of the scam had been circulated to other councils to prevent them falling foul of the same scam.

Audit committee papers stated: "Control processes reviewed and whilst these had not been followed in every instance the council had been subject to a known fraud scam perpetrated by fraudster operating overseas exploiting banking loopholes.

"Details reported to RBS Fraud Team to see if any monies can be recovered and staff reminded over the need to adhere to existing control practices in every instance."

Wandsworth Council was approached for comment but declined to take the opportunity to speak on the matter.