Benefit and Council Tax fraud is not a victimless crime. Such fraud is theft. Every pound lost through fraud increases national and local taxation levels, and also threatens essential services. The Department for Work and Pensions estimated that, in 2013/14, £1.1 billion worth of benefits were overpaid due to fraud.
For these reasons, Telford & Wrekin Council takes fraud very seriously and takes the appropriate action against people who fraudulently claim benefit and Council Tax discount/exemption. This may include prosecuting or administering a financial penalty/fine. In all cases, we expect the person to pay back any benefit, exemption or discount that they were not entitled to.
Examples of fraud include:
- people who work but do not tell us
- people who claim as a single person but actually live with a partner
- people who do not tell us about all the people that live in their household, for example, grown-up sons or daughters
- people who do not declare all of their income and capital when they claim, or when it increases during a claim
- people who do not tell us about all of the properties they own
- people who claim for an address where they do not live.
If you are receiving a benefit, please remember that it is your responsibility to notify the Council of any change in your circumstances that may affect your entitlement to:
If I report fraud, will I remain anonymous?
All information we receive reporting suspected benefit fraud is treated with the utmost confidence. If you are reporting someone for suspected fraud, you do not have to give your name. If you do want to give your name, an Investigation Officer may contact you for further information.
We are prevented from giving feedback to members of the public on the outcome on individual fraud investigations due to the Data Protection Act. However, we promise that we will look at every case referred to us. If someone is prosecuted for benefit fraud by the Council, we will send a press release to the local media. These will appear on our Newsroom page.