Fraud is when a person deliberately gives wrong or misleading information to obtain financial gain from an organisation or person.
When fraud is committed against us, it reduces the money we have to spend on our services in Torbay.
Types of fraud
- Giving incorrect information when claiming Council Tax Support
- Falsely claiming council tax single person discount or a reduction in council tax
- Receiving a reduced business rates bill when not entitled
- Misuse of a blue badge
- Misuse of a residents permit
- Fraud committed by someone who works for the council
Housing Benefit fraud
Reports of benefit fraud are investigated by the Department of Work and Pension.
If you think someone is committing benefit fraud, it is important you contact the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
Telephone the DWP's National Fraud Hotline on 0800 854 440. Lines are open Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm. Alternatively, you can fill in the DWP's online anonymous referral form.
Reporting a fraud to us
We work to prevent and detect all fraud against the council as we have a legal duty to protect public money. This includes internal and national data matching Opens in a new window.
If you suspect someone of committing fraud or corruption and want to report this to us, all the information you provide will be treated in the strictest confidence.
Please provide us with as much information as possible as this will help when we investigate your allegations. If you have any proof that you would like to send to us you are able to upload documents and pictures.
When we receive a referral we’ll look at the information and decide if we can investigate. Due to data protection issues, we will not be able to give any information about an investigation as it may prejudice the outcome.
You do not have to give us your name and contact details, you can remain anonymous if you prefer.
You can find out more information on all types of fraud and cyber crime on Action Fraud Opens in a new window.
A scam is where you are given wrong or misleading information to con you out of money. They can be carried out over the phone, by post, email or by calling at your home.
Tips to avoid being scammed
- Never disclose your bank account, credit card or personal details to people you don't know
- Be suspicious of letters, phone calls, or emails that you are not expecting asking you to send money
- If an offer looks too good to be true, it probably is
- Never ring an 090 number unless you're certain how much the call will cost and what you are likely to receive
- Don't send money off just because a letter seems official, scammers often use this trick
- Don’t let anyone into your home without seeing appropriate identification
- Don’t feel under pressure from a cold-caller to pay an immediate up-front fee
Things you should do
- Tell the police if you think someone is impersonating our staff or valuation office employees
- Dial 999 if a cold caller refuses to leave your home
- Contact or if you feel you have been the victim of a scam
You can find out more information on council tax scams we have been told about on our council tax scam page.
Under the transparency code we are required to publish information on our counter fraud work.
- Number of occasions powers under the Prevention of Social Housing Fraud (Power to Require Information) (England) Regulations 2014/44, or similar powers are used
- Total number (absolute and full time equivalent) of employees undertaking investigations and prosecutions of fraud
- Total number (absolute and full time equivalent) of professionally accredited counter fraud specialists
- Total amount spent by the authority on the investigation and prosecution of fraud
- Total number of fraud cases investigated
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