Types of fraud

Single persons discount fraud

What is Single Person Discount fraud?

You can only claim Single Person Discount if you are the only person aged 18 or over living in your home, or the only person 18 or over who is counted for Council Tax purposes.  It is fraud to:

 

  • Claim the discount when you are not the only person aged 18 or over in the home

  • correctly claim the discount but then later fail to declare that another person aged 18 or over has moved in with you.

 

What are the penalties?

Knowingly claiming a Single Person Discount to which you are not entitled could lead to a criminal prosecution and a £70 fine.  You would also have to repay the money that has been incorrectly awarded.


Council Tax reduction scheme fraud

What is Council Tax Reduction Scheme Fraud?

The Council Tax Reduction Scheme is a reduction on your Council Tax bill if you are on a low income.  It is fraud to claim for Council Tax Reduction based on information that you know is false or inaccurate.  This could include:

 

  • claiming to be unemployed while still working

  • not declaring any, or all, of your savings

  • not declaring a partner living with you.

 

It is also fraudulent not to tell the Council of a change of circumstances that would reduce the amount you are entitled to.

 

What are the penalties?

Deliberately claiming a Council Tax reduction to which you are not entitled is a criminal offence, punishable by up to 10 years in prison.  Failing to notify the Council of a change of circumstances that would reduce the amount you are entitled to, is also a criminal offence punishable by up to 7 years in prison.


Business rates fraud

What is business rates fraud?

Business rates are charged on most non-domestic properties such a shops, offices, pubs and industrial units to contribute towards the cost of local services.  Business rates fraud is when a business avoids paying the correct fees by:

 

  • falsely claiming rate relief or empty property exemptions

  • failing to declare occupancy of a property

  • falsely claiming insolvency status to evade payment

  • not disclosing relevant information to gain rate relief.

 

What are the penalties?

If you are caught committing Business Rates fraud, you face a fine and/or imprisonment.  Any money obtained by the fraud would need to be repaid to the Council.


Procurement and contract fraud

What is procurement and contract fraud?

Procurement is the name given to the process by which the Council buys goods and services from an external source.  It could include the purchase of office stationary or the appointment of a contractor to undertake work or perform a service.  Procurement and contract fraud can happen when the tender process has not been followed correctly and can involve:

 

  • price fixing between contractors or suppliers

  • collusion involving contractors or suppliers submitting false bids to secure business

  • bribery and corruption between contractors and Council officials.

 

 After a contract has been awarded, fraud can also happen when:

  • contractors or suppliers submit false or duplicate invoices

  • work is not completed under the terms of the contract

  • goods or services are not delivered or are inferior to those specified in the contract.

 

What are the penalties?

Depending on the nature of the fraud, you could be fined and/or sent to prison for up to ten years.  Employees involved in such fraud, bribery or corruption would also be subject to the Council's Disciplinary Policy. 


Employee fraud

What is employee fraud?

When an employee of the Council abuses their position to make a fraudulent gain for themselves or where they fail to act appropriately, resulting in a loss to the Council.  Examples include:

 

  • claiming false expenses

  • claiming overtime without actually working the extra hours

  • falsifying qualifications on their job application

  • failing to declare a criminal conviction.

 

 What are the penalties?

Depending on the nature of the fraud you could be fined and/or sent to prison for up to ten years.  You would also be subject to the Council's Disciplinary Policy which could result in dismissal.


Home repair assistance grant fraud

What is Home Repair Assistance Grant Fraud?

Home Repair Assistance Grants are designed to provide practical help for small-scale works, repairs, improvements or adaptations to a home.  It is fraud to apply for this grant based on information you know is false or inaccurate.  This can include:

 

  • not declaring any, or all, of your savings

  • failing to declare your full income

  • failing to declare a change in circumstances, such as no longer being in receipt of a means-tested benefit.

 

What are the penalties?

Depending on the nature of the fraud, you could be fined and/or sent to prison for up to ten years.


Disabled facilities grant fraud

What is Disabled Facilities Grant Fraud?

Disabled Facilities Grants help towards the cost of adaptations and facilities to enable a disabled person to continue to live at their property.  It is fraud to apply for a grant based on information you know is false or inaccurate.  This could include:

 

  • not declaring any, or all, of your savings

  • failing to declare your full income.

 

What are the penalties?

There is a limited amount of funding available for these adaptations so fraud of this kind could result in deserving people having to wait longer for essential works, leaving those people vulnerable to injuries and stress, causing a strain on health and social care services.  Depending on the circumstances, you could be fined and/or sent to prison for up to ten years for committing this type of fraud.