Residents across the East Riding are being urged to report any suspicions of fraudulent activity.
Fraud costs the East Riding of Yorkshire Council thousands of pounds each year with vital services are losing out on cash.
The council’s fraud investigation team receives thousands of reports each year from people with suspicions of someone claiming or receiving something they are not entitled to.
Each piece of information is assessed by a counter fraud specialist before deciding on the next course of action.
This could involve carrying out surveillance, interviews under caution as well as liaising with the Department for Work and Pensions to establish whether the information held by the council and the agency match.
The fraud investigation team focus on a number of areas:
○ Tenancy/social housing fraud – this can include sub-letting a property, making false statements on a housing or homelessness application, wrongly claimed succession, non-occupation by the tenant and fraudulent right to buy applications
○ Council tax support fraud – this is a means-tested benefit so changes in circumstances can affect the level of claim. Changes in circumstances include undeclared earnings, income or capital such as stocks and shares.
○ Council tax single person discount – single person discount entitles the householder to 25% discount from their council tax bill. The council must be told if another adult starts living at the property otherwise a fraud is being committed
○ Blue badge fraud – blue badges are issued to people with disabilities that makes getting around hard for them. Those who fraudulently apply for blue badges are not only cheating the system but reducing the number of parking spaces available for genuine holders.
Councillor Shaun Horton, portfolio holder for community involvement and council corporate services said: “The impact of benefit fraud on the council is huge and people claiming benefits they are not entitled to means those who are genuinely in need may suffer. I would urge anyone who has suspicions that someone is committing fraud to report it as soon as they can.”
There are a number of ways people can get in touch: email firstname.lastname@example.org, online at www.eastriding.gov.uk/benefitfraud or by calling 01482 394949.