June 23, 2010
Computer hackers in Bulgaria help retailers hide their revenues and
deprive the State budget of millions in Value Added Tax (VAT), the
Bulgarian daily Standard writes.
The police and the National Revenue Agency (NRA) are probing computer
wizs, who were able to break the code of cash registers and manipulate
their memory. For a monthly fee from merchants, the hackers can delete a
number of transactions or reduce by 10% - 20% the value of each sale.
The scam is difficult to prove since when the revenue agents and the
police make a surprise visit, they find the cash register functioning
while a check would not show days and hours without registered sales..
The scam is common in big cities, the police say, because stores there
have larger turnover. In order to deal with the crime, the revenue
agents also use innovative methods such as making purchases from the
same store in the course of several days and keeping their receipts. The
probe is done a month later and the receipts are compared against the
memory of the register. If the purchase had been deleted, NRA begins a
full audit of the retailer.
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