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Fraud - Frequently asked questions

What is Fraud? How do I report Fraud? What about Fraud within the Council? Can I report fraud anonymously? What sort of thing should I report? Do you have a question about Fraud / corruption? Find the answers here.

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What is fraud?

Many people can get confused about Fraud in its general sense and also how it applies to different situations. We at Sedgemoor District Council are trying to make things a little easier to understand.

What is Fraud?

In the broadest sense, a fraud is a deception made for personal gain. Fraud is a crime, and is also a civil law violation. In clear terms, fraud is a crime or offense where a person/persons deliberately deceive another/others in order to damage them — usually, to obtain property, finance or services from another unjustly.

What is Benefit Fraud?

Benefit fraud is where people claim Housing and Council Tax Benefit and/or Social Security Benefits (Dealt with by the Department of Work and Pensions) but have no right to claim it.

The Council is keen to make prompt payments of Housing and Council Tax benefit to genuine claimants, but we are equally keen to stamp out benefit fraud.

The Fraud team in our Benefits section is responsible for detection and investigation of fraudulent claims. Last year we were successful in 27 sanctions against fraudulent claimants in the Sedgemoor area.

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What sort of thing should I report?

There are many different forms of fraud. Examples of the kind of thing you should report include:

  • fraudulent or corrupt activity by Councillors, employees or any other person representing the Council.
  • illegal behaviour by any representative of the Council.
  • risks to health and safety on Council property.
  • abuse or misuse of Council assets e.g. buildings, vehicles or equipment.
  • wasteful or uneconomic use of Council resources.
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How do I report Benefit fraud?

Benefit Fraud can be reported:

  • in writing.
  • or by telephoning the Benefit Fraud hotline number (Contact details at the bottom of this page).

All information will be treated in confidence and can be given anonymously if wished.

Where a claimant has been found to have claimed benefit fraudulently the authority will take the appropriate action to recover the monies claimed fraudulently and to ensure that the claimant is penalised.

Please Note: Unfortunately, we are unable to give you feedback regarding the progress or result of individual Benefit Fraud investigations.

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How do I report Council Fraud or Corruption?

Council Fraud/Corruption can be reported:

  • by contacting the Monitoring Officer on 0300 303 7800

All information will be treated in confidence and can be given anonymously if wished.

The Council will then investigate thoroughly in accordance with the Council's Anti-Fraud and Corruption Strategy and take action as necessary. To find out more, please see the 'Fraud/Corruption of Council Services' link at the bottom of this page.

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Can I report fraud anonymously?

Are you concerned about remaining anonymous? Don't worry - you can report fraud anonymously. Read more on this page about how to make an report in this way.

Benefit Fraud

If you wish to make a report of benefit fraud anonymously you may do so by

  • Writing anonymously to the Benefit Fraud team details at the bottom of this page. 
  • or telephoning, using the 24 hour confidential Benefit Fraud Hotline.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding reporting Fraud, please contact the Council using the Benefit Fraud Hotline. Thank you. 

Council Fraud / Corruption

You can do this by writing anonymously to The Monitoring Officer. Contact details are available at the bottom of this page.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding reporting Fraud, please contact The Monitoring Officer. Thank you. 

In all cases please note: It is much more helpful if we are able to contact you should we need further details to conduct a full investigation. You should also note that we are not able to provide any feedback to persons who report anonymously.

pdf Anti-Fraud and Corruption Policy [314.28KB] doc SDC Benefits Fraud Strategy [34KB]