Fraud and Corruption

Information on how to report your concerns about fraud and corruption.


As with other large organisations, the size and nature of the council’s services puts it at risk to loss due to fraud and corruption both from within the council and outside it.

We are committed to making sure that the opportunity for fraud and corruption is reduced to the lowest possible risk. Where there is the possibility of fraud, corruption and other related problems, we will deal with it in a firm, consistent and controlled manner.

Fraud hotline

A special hotline has been set up for people to report suspected fraud. Trained staff will answer your calls during office hours. Outside these hours you can leave a recorded message.  You do not have to give your name.

Contact us if you see or hear of anyone who is:

  • Getting money from the council that they are not entitled to – this could be payments for contracts, supplies, grants, benefits or salaries
  • Stealing or misusing council stores, equipment, vehicles or buildings

The following information will help us to investigate fraud:

  • name, address and description of the person you are reporting
  • type of fraud you think they are committing and how long it has been going on
  • where they work
  • what times of the day they work
  • if they have a car or not
  • what type of car, colour and registration number
  • The name and description of person living with them (in respect of suspected benefit fraud or single resident discount fraud) including any distinctive features, for example, glasses

Please give as much information as you can.

We will look into all reported incidents thoroughly and take appropriate action.

You will still also be able to report your concerns through the usual channels, for example by contacting a councillor or the external auditor.

Any type of fraud where you believe someone has told the council something that is not true in order to receive some financial help or other assistance can be reported. This includes:

Council Tax support fraud

If you believe someone is claiming help to pay their Council Tax that they shouldn’t be. For example because they have a partner who has moved in with them or they have started work.

Council Tax discount fraud

If you believe someone is receiving a discount on the amount of Council Tax they have to pay that they shouldn’t be receiving. For example, a person receiving a single adult residency discount when they have other adults living in their home or a student discount when they are no longer a student.

Adult Social Care payments fraud

If you believe that someone is misusing payments they receive toward their care, or have failed to tell the council about their full financial circumstances in order to receive payments

Insurance fraud

If you believe that someone has made a false insurance claim against the council.

Employee and Councillor fraud

If you suspect that an employee or councillor is involved in any fraudulent or corrupt act.

Benefit fraud (including Housing Benefit fraud)

The Department for Work and Pensions is responsible for the investigation of benefit fraud.

To report benefit fraud, visit their website, call the National Fraud Hotline on 0800 854 4400 (textphone 0800 320 0512), or send details in writing to NBFH, PO Box 224, Preston, PR1 1GP.

If you are unsure whether the fraud effects Council Tax or benefits please report your concern to the council online, or by email, letter or telephone. We work closely with the Department for Work and Pensions and we will disclose the information you provide to them when Social Security benefits are involved.

Other types of fraud

If you would like to report scams and consumer fraud, please contact Trading Standards.

The council’s Anti-Fraud and Corruption Strategy [PDF, 203Kb] has information and guidance for members and staff on the serious issues of fraud and corruption.

It includes a Fraud Response Plan [PDF, 202Kb] which provides more detailed guidance on how we will deal with fraud and corruption.

We expect all members, employees, consultants, contractors, and service users to be fair and honest, and to provide any information and support we need to deal with fraud and corruption.

The council protects the public funds that it administers. It may share some information with other bodies responsible for auditing or administering public funds, in order to prevent and detect fraud. It may also share this information with other bodies responsible for auditing or administering public funds for these purposes.

The Cabinet Office is responsible for auditing the accounts of the council. It is also responsible for carrying out data matching exercises.

Data matching involves comparing computer records held by one body against other computer records held by the same or another body to see how far they match. This is usually personal information. Computerised data matching allows potentially fraudulent claims and payments to be identified. Where a match is found it shows that there is an inconsistency which needs further investigation. No assumption can be made as to whether there is fraud, error or other explanation until an investigation is carried out.

We take part in a data matching exercise to assist in the prevention and detection of fraud. We give some sets of data to the Cabinet Office for matching in each exercise. These are set out in the guidance on the National Fraud Initiative website.

The Code of Data Matching Practice explains the data matching work the NFI does. For more information visit the code of data matching practice webpage on Gov.UK

For further information on the legal powers and the reasons why it matches particular information, visit the Gov.uk website or contact the Principal Auditor on 01472 323903.