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 would be 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 and exemptions. 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 e.g. grown up sons or daughters
- People who do not declare all their income and capital when they claim or when it increases during a claim
- People who do not tell us about all the properties they own
- People who claim from 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 benefit.
If I report fraud, will I remain anonymous?
All information we get reporting suspected benefit fraud is treated with the utmost confidence. If you are reporting someone of suspected fraud you do not have to give your name. If you do want to give your name then 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 either by the Council we will send a press release to the local media and these can also be seen on the news section of our website.