We have a duty to protect taxpayers' money and safeguard the services which support our community. We do not tolerate fraud targeting public funds.
Veritau are an independent organisation who investigate all suspected fraud committed against us, on our behalf.
If someone provides false information, or fails to report a change in their circumstances in relation to any of our services, they may be committing fraud. This could include:
- intentionally failing to report a change in circumstances
- providing false or misleading information in order to obtain funds (such as a council tax or business rates discount or other forms of financial assistance)
Fraud prevention and data matching exercises
We also carry out regular fraud prevention and data matching exercises to protect ourselves against fraud.
Our data matching exercises (which involve comparing computer records held by different organisations or systems) includes the Government’s National Fraud Initiative and other local initiatives. You can find out about the National Fraud Initiative on the Government website.
Where necessary we also share information with the Department for Work and Pensions, other councils and relevant organisations, in order to prevent and detect fraud.
Council tax and Business Rates fraud
Veritau’s counter fraud team investigates all fraud committed against us. We rely on members of the public to report all suspected cases of fraud and misuse of council funds, and we investigate all reports we receive.
Any information you provide can be reported anonymously if you wish.
Council tax fraud
Council tax fraud occurs when someone knowingly gives incorrect or misleading information or fails to inform us of a change in circumstances in order to pay less council tax.
For example, they may claim to be the only person living in a house, when more than one person lives there; or they may falsely claim to be a student, when they're not. It's also an offence to claim a single person discount for a property that's not your main home.
Non-domestic (business) rates fraud
Business Rates fraud occurs when a person attempts to gain relief or exemptions from Business Rates or business grants that they're not entitled to, either by making a false statement or failing to disclose information.
How to report fraud
You can report fraud in the following ways: