Types of Fraud

SOCIAL HOUSING FRAUD

Tenancy Fraud

Many local councils provide social housing, and the councils must have an allocations policy that determines who can apply to live in these homes.  Councils decide who is offered housing based on ‘points’ or’ banding’ systems or other specified priorities.  It is fraud to seek to obtain social housing by deception or misrepresenting your circumstances.  Once a tenant of the Council, it is fraud for the tenant to sub-let all or part of their home.  Also, if a tenant no longer occupies the property as their only or principal home, the council may end the tenancy.

Homelessness

Local councils have a responsibility to provide temporary accommodation and help find long term housing for homeless people who apply for help and meet certain eligibility criteria.  It is fraud to make an application for help that misrepresents your circumstances.

Right to Buy (RTB) Fraud

The Right to Buy (RTB) scheme is a government policy that gives secure tenants of councils the legal right to buy, at a large discount, the home they are living in.  A number of conditions determine who can apply to join the scheme and the discounts that are allowed.  It is fraud to seek to join the scheme by deception, and councils also seek to ensure that homes are not purchased through the scheme using the proceeds of crime.

COUNCIL TAX/COUNCIL TAX REDUCTION SCHEME FRAUD

Council Tax is payable by adults who own or rent a property to live in.  Council Tax payers can claim a discount in a variety of circumstances, such as living alone or being in specified occupations.  Council Tax payers can also claim a reduction in tax if they are on low income or claim benefits.  It is fraud to for anyone to claim a discount or reduction to which they are not entitled, or to fail to report a change in their circumstances which may affect their entitlement to a reduction.

BUSINESS RATE FRAUD

Business rates are a tax on properties that are not used for domestic purposes, such as shops, factories, and offices.  Certain types of property are excluded from the business rates tax, and some businesses can claim relief from the tax because of their size, location and the type of business activity that takes place at the property.  It is fraud to seek to obtain an exemption or relief that are not justified by the true situation.

GRANT FRAUD

Councils, together with other sector of government, provide funding or grants to assist a range of organisations and activities that support communities.  It is fraud for individuals, business or charities to seek to obtain funding by deception or to claim funding for which they are not eligible

BLUE BADGE FRAUD

The Blue Badge scheme enables disabled people to park closer to their destinations.  There are regulations that determine eligibility for the scheme, and it is fraud to seek to join the scheme by deception or providing a false identity.  Councils will also try to identify and penalise able bodied people who misuse the facilities that are put in place to help disabled people, and seek to avoid parking charges.

PERSONAL PAYMENTS FRAUD

Personal Independence Payments (PIPs) are benefits paid to people living with a long term health condition or disability – PIPs are gradually replacing the Disability Living Allowance (DLA).  There are regulations that that determine eligibility for the scheme, and it is fraud to seek to join the scheme by deception or misrepresenting your circumstances.

PLANNING

Council planning services provide guidance on the ways in which towns, cities and countryside are allowed to develop, and have a duty to enforce planning laws and determine planning applications.  It is fraud to seek to avoid planning laws by deception.  Councils will also investigate any developments that have not obtained the necessary planning consents or have not been carried out in accordance with the permissions obtained or the regulations.

What is procurement fraud?

Procurement fraud is any fraud relating to the purchase of goods and services, and could include:

  • price-fixing, bid-rigging and cover pricing to maximise profit margins or share out contracts;
  • claiming payment for goods or services not provided;
  • delivering goods or services of substandard quality;
  • overpricing or duplicate invoicing;
  • misuse of procurement cards/credit cards;
  • creation of bogus suppliers.

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