Fraud

We are fully committed to fraud prevention and deterrence. Benefit fraud is dealt with by the Department for Work and Pension (DWP) who are responsible for the investigation of welfare benefit fraud. Some common examples of types of fraud are people:

  • working while claiming to be unemployed
  • not living at the address they claim from
  • not declaring capital over £3,000 held in accounts
  • not fully declaring all income or household members
  • not declaring second properties.

You can report suspected housing benefit fraud in three ways:

  • Phone: Contact the National Benefit Fraud Hotline on 0800 854 4400. Your call is free and confidential you do not have to give your name or address. Lines are open Monday to Friday, 8.00 am to 6.00 pm. If you have speech or hearing problems you can use a text phone service on 0800 328 0512 or Welsh speakers can call on 0800 678 3722.
  • Online at: www.gov.uk/report-benefit-fraud
  • Post: NBFH, PO Box 224, Preston PR1 1GP

Fraud against the council

We have a dedicated team, the corporate anti-fraud service, to investigate all other types of fraud including:

  • housing and tenancy fraud e.g. illegal subletting, false application for housing
  • council tax fraud e.g. claiming to be single and receiving 25 per cent discount on your council tax
  • disabled parking fraud e.g. parking on disabled bays when the blue badge holder is not present
  • business rates fraud e.g. companies falsely claiming empty property or charitable relief
  • direct payments fraud e.g. people who falsely claim to be disabled to obtain care funds or misuse the funds

To refer your concerns you can:

  • use our online form to report the fraud
  • call our anti-fraud hotline 020 8753 1273. You do not have to leave your name and all information will be treated confidentially
  • write to the Corporate Anti Fraud Service at Hammersmith Town Hall, King Street, Hammersmith W6 9JU.

National Fraud Initiative

The council takes part in the Cabinet Office’s National Fraud Initiative (NFI,) a nationwide exercise that matches electronic data within and between public and private sector bodies to prevent and detect fraud and error. The initiative runs every two years.

The NFI involves comparing sets of data, such as the payroll or tenancy records of a body, against other records held by the same or another body to see how far they match. The data is usually personal information.

The data matching allows potentially fraudulent claims and payments to be identified. Where a match is found it may indicate that there is an inconsistency that requires further investigation. No assumption can be made as to whether there is fraud, error or other explanation until an investigation is carried out.

The processing of data by the Cabinet Office in a data matching exercise is carried out with statutory authority under its powers in Part 6 of the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014. It does not require the consent of the individuals concerned under the Data Protection Act 1998.

View further information on the Cabinet Office’s legal powers and the reasons why it matches particular information.

Outside of this exercise the council periodically conducts lawful data matching to prevent and detect fraud.

For more information contact the Corporate Anti Fraud Service at Hammersmith Town Hall, King Street, Hammersmith W6 9JU.