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.
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, although if you have missed vital information in your report remaining anonymous may prevent an investigation commencing or continuing.
You can find out more information on all types of fraud and cyber crime on Action Fraud Opens in a new window.
Alternatively you can view our Counter Fraud and Corruption Policy.
- 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
- You are aware of a business not paying business rates when they should be Or 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
- Childrens Services Fraud (you believe a person has submitted false information when claiming an allowance such as Special Guardianship Allowance/Adoption Allowance/Free School Meals/school transport/direct payments/Fostering Allowance)
- School placement Fraud (a person has stated a child lives within a schools catchment area when residing elsewhere and submitting false or misleading information to support the fraudulent application)
- Insurance Fraud (if you believe someone has made a false insurance fraud against the council)
- Money Laundering (you are aware of people organisations that are making payments to the council using money that resulted from the proceeds of crime)
- Licensing Fraud Including Taxi, Alcohol and Markets (applicant has provided false information or do not have a valid permit to work in the UK)
- Procurement Fraud (Colluding organisations agreeing not to competitively compete for a particular contract/employees receiving bribes in order to favour a person/organisation when awarding contracts/Employees failing to declare an interest in a bidding company/Employees making false payments or overpayments to businesses/employees clearing goods for their own personal use/businesses submitting false invoices for work not completed, goods provided or adding extra costs deliberately excluded from original tender/businesses providing goods and services that are inferior to those in the original tender)
- Social Care Personal Budgets (you believe a person has inflated their need in order to obtain a higher level of payment/failed to declare capital or assets/obtained multiple personal budgets from multiple councils)
- Employee Fraud (you believe an employee is acting fraudulently for their own personal gain or the personal gain of someone else)
- Misuse of a Concessionary fares/bus pass (a person using a pass that does not belong to them)
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.
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 Citizens Advice Opens in a new window Falseor Action Fraud Opens in a new window False 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.
Advice and guidance on how to avoid falling victim to a scam
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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