Reporting Fraud

Tell us using our anonymous fraud reporting form

How can fraud be detected? 

There are a range of methods used to prevent and detect fraud used by Argyll and Bute Council, such as: 

  • Matching its records against those held by the Department for Work and Pensions and other government agencies.
  • Cross matching internal data.
  • Information can be obtained from employers and credit reference agencies
  • Evidence can be gathered through other official sources. 

Although there are various means of detecting fraud one of the most useful sources of information comes from local knowledge and receiving information from the public.

Here are some examples of fraud allegations

  • Single Person Discount being claimed for Council Tax when a partner or another adult is living in the same property.
  • A person claiming to live at a property when they have an alternative address is a way which fraudsters use to try to avoid paying the “Unoccupied Double Charge” for council tax on an empty property.
  • Claiming empty property exemption from Council Tax when there is an occupant resident in property.
  • Claiming council tax reduction when in fact working more hours than letting on.
  • Inventing false/fictitious tenants who are then made liable for Council Tax when they don’t exist can be a way to avoid paying Unoccupied Double Charge for council tax.
  • Commercial Properties - when someone is using a flat/house as a long term residential property – the direct result of this type of action is avoidance of paying Council Tax.

Council Tax Fraud

If you would like to report an undeclared person/fictitious person living at a property you should provide the following information where possible:-

  • The full address of the property in question (including postcode if known)
  • The name of the person responsible for the property in question.
  • The partners name/name of any other occupants e.g. son, daughter etc.
  • Description of the person including their age, height, build, etc.
  • How long do you think they have been living there?
  • If the person is employed, where is their place of work and what type of work do they do?
  • If the person drives a vehicle which is regularly parked outside the property, please provide details of the vehicle including make, model, colour, registration number.

If you would like to report that someone is claiming an Exemption or Discount incorrectly e.g. claiming the house is occupied when in fact it’s empty therefore avoiding a 200% Council Tax Levy.

  • How long has the person not been living at the property?
  • Where are they living?
  • Is anyone else living in the property?   If so, who?
  • Do they return to the property?   If so when and how often?

Non Domestic Rates Fraud

Non-domestic rate, or business rate, fraud is when a business avoids paying the correct fees for local services.

The most common types of business rates fraud include:

  • A business might avoid paying the costs by not declaring that a business is located at a certain address;
  • Falsely claiming mandatory or discretionary rate relief or empty property exemption;
  • Failure to declare occupancy of a property;
  • Falsely using insolvency status with the intent to evade payment;
  • Not disclosing relevant information, such as the size of the company, to gain rate relief

If you believe that a fraud is taking place at a commercial property and would like to report it you should provide the following information where possible:-

  • The full address of the property in question (including postcode if known)
  • The name of the person responsible for the property in question.
  • The nature of fraud taking place.

Parking for the Disabled

If you would like to report someone who is using a Blue Badge which they are not entitled to, you should provide the following information if known:-

  • Who owns the badge?
  • Where do they stay?
  • What vehicle is the badge used in?   Include the make, model, colour, registration number of the vehicle.
  • Who is misusing the badge?
  • Where does he or she live?
  • Where do they park using the badge?
  • Is it certain days or times of the day or night?
  • How long has the misuse been going on for?

If you have any concerns over any fraudulent activity taking place you can contact the Corporate Fraud Team by the methods below.   Please provide as much detailed information as possible of the alleged fraud that is taking place.

If you know, suspect or have information about someone apparently committing fraud, you can report your suspicions in several ways.   All reports are treated confidentially.   You don’t need to identify yourself, but if you do, your name will not be used unless we have your consent.

All information is treated as strictly confidential and can be provided anonymously.

Contact Us

Email:  fraud@argyll-bute.gov.uk

Phone:  01546 60 4789

Anonymous Referral:  Anonymous reporting form

Write to: Argyll and Bute Council, Corporate Fraud Department, Kintyre House, Snipefield Industrial Estate, Drumore, Campbeltown, PA28 6SY.

 

Please note that Argyll and Bute Council no longer investigates Housing Benefit Fraud.   Below is information if you wish to report your concerns to the Department of Work and Pensions

Website:  https://www.gov.uk/report-benefit-fraud

Phone:  0800 854 440

Write to:  NBFH, PO Box 224, Preston PR1 1GP.

Based on the above, the aim of Argyll and Bute Council’s Corporate Fraud Team is to provide high quality investigative work to ensure that the Council’s resources are used appropriately and efficiently in relation to the prevention and detection of Corporate Fraud.

 

Our aim is to reduce and then eliminate Fraud within Argyll and Bute Council and to do this we all need to work together.