Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council takes council tax reduction fraud very seriously. The money lost through this could be spent on other vital services and can affect how much Council Tax you have
To report a suspected benefit fraud please call the National Benefit Fraud Hotline on 0800 854 440 lines are open Monday to Friday, between 8am and 6pm.
Or you can report suspected benefit fraud to the Department for Work and Pensions here
What is benefit fraud?
Some examples of fraudulent claims involve:
- a failure to declare work
- not declaring the full amount of income, savings or capital
- failing to declare ownership of another property for which rent is being received
- false claims by homeowners - inventing fictitious landlords
- not declaring that there are other people, usually with income or savings, living in the property
- non-residence - claiming to live somewhere whilst subletting it and living elsewhere
- failing to declare change of address - failing to declare a move while continuing to receive council tax reduction for a previous address
How you can help stop Benefit Fraud
If you think someone is committing council tax reduction fraud it is important that you let us know. Please provide as much information as you can about the person and why you think they are committing fraud. The more information you give the better. Providing extra information may be the difference between prosecuting a fraudster and not being able to prove the offence. The law says that we must have good reason to investigate a person and we need to target our resources towards cases that we have a good chance of proving.
What we do with the information you give us
Every report we receive will be investigated.
However, investigations can take some time and it should not be obvious to the person concerned that they are under investigation. The Data Protection Laws say we have to keep information about people confidential, so we cannot give progress reports to the person who reported the possible fraud.
When we receive a report of fraud we will check the person's council tax reduction claim to confirm whether they have declared the information given. If not, we will gather information to support the allegation, for example, from employers, banks and building societies. We will then try to establish the facts and take further action if appropriate.
If we can prove that a person has committed fraud we will always do everything in our power to recover the amount of benefit they have received fraudulently. Depending on the circumstances we can also:
- issue a formal caution
- issue an administration penalty