Fraud Prevention and Detection

Winchester City Council has a legal duty to administer a Benefits service to all those who qualify.  At the same time, there is a responsibility to ensure that payments are only made to those who have a genuine entitlement. The Council has a role to stop fraud from taking place and to reduce the number of fraudulent claims made each year.

Types of Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit and Council Tax Reduction Fraud

The Council works closely with the Department for Work and Pensions as allegations may also involve other Social Security administered benefits, for example, Income Support, Job Seekers Allowance and Employment Support Allowance.

Here are a few examples of the types of fraud that occur:

  • People who have an undeclared partner or other person living with them.
  • People who have an undeclared job or other income.
  • Persons claiming from an address they have never or no longer live at.
  • Landlords who are committing fraud, for example, false tenancy agreements and continuing to receive Housing Benefit for a tenant who has left the address.
  • Persons who own property or have sums of money they have not declared.

Reporting Fraud

Every year, benefit fraud costs millions of pounds and it's those who are in real need that are most affected. This fraudulently claimed, taxpayers money, could be used to support vital community services such as schools, hospitals and crime reduction.

You can report suspected Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit and Council Tax Reduction fraud in 3 ways:

By Telephone: Contact the National Benefit Fraud hotline on 0800 854 440.  Your call is free and confidential.  you do not have to give your name and address.  Lines are open Monday to Friday 08.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m.  If you have speech or hearing problems you can use a text phone service on 0800 328 0512.

Online at: www.gov.uk/report-benefit-fraud

By Post: NBFH, PO Box 224, Preston, PR1 1GP