Fraud costs councils across the country an estimated £2 billion every year. We employ a Corporate Anti Fraud Team through Veritau. Veritau investigate any fraud committed against us, covering the following.
Council Tax Fraud
Council Tax fraud is when someone deliberately gives incorrect or misleading information in order to pay less or no Council Tax.
Council Tax fraud could be when someone claims they're the only person living in a house, when more than one person lives there. Or they might say they're a student, when they're not. It can also be an offence to claim a Single Occupancy Discount for a property that's not your main home.
Non Domestic Rates Fraud
Non-domestic rate - or business rate - fraud is when a business avoids paying the correct fees for local services.
A business might avoid paying the costs by not declaring that it's located at a certain address, or by falsely applying for exemptions.
It's a criminal offence to sublet your council home to someone else - subletting is when you rent it out to another person. The Fraud Act 2006 and the Housing Act 1996 also make it a criminal offence to falsely apply for a council property, falsely claim you're entitled to take over the property from a relative, or falsely apply for a Right to Buy discount.
Disabled Badge Fraud
Misuse of a Blue Badge is a serious offence, and in some cases may be considered to be fraud.
The council's committed to taking action against Blue Badge fraud and misuse and in serious cases we'll prosecute offenders. It's a criminal offence to display a Blue Badge unless the badge holder is in the vehicle, or the vehicle is being used to pick up or drop off the holder.
Housing Benefit fraud is investigated by the Department of Work and Pensions, whilst Council Tax Support is investigated by us. If you intentionally don't report a change in circumstances or falsely claim benefits from the outset, then you're committing benefit fraud.
Proactive Fraud & Data Matching Exercises
We carry out regular checks to protect ourselves against fraud. This includes matching the our data to the information held by other organisations. We also review claims and applications every now and again.
The sort of things we're involved with include the National Fraud Initiative, Housing Benefit Matching Service and local initiatives involving other organisations we work with closely in this area.
Where appropriate, we'll share information with the Department of Work and Pensions, other councils and relevant organisations. We've set out how we use the information you provide to us in our Fair Processing Notice.
If you're aware of, or suspect, fraud is being committed against us then please report it. The information you provide is taken in the strictest confidence.
You can call us on 01904 552935 or email us.
If you wish, you can contact us by post, using this address: Veritau, West Offices, Station Rise, York, YO1 6GA