Tackling fraud

​People are committing fraud if they claim something they have no right to. We are committed to prevent, deter, and detect Housing Benefit and Council Tax fraud.

Last year we paid around £146 million in Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support, of which over £1 million was claimed dishonestly. This is a lot of money that could have been spent on the services we provide to help further improve the communities in which we live.

Housing Benefit Fraud

What is Housing Benefit?

Housing Benefit is a means-tested benefit to help anyone on a low income with their rent. We have to make sure that the Housing Benefit gets to those who need it, but there are people who try to fraudulently claim Housing Benefit they are not entitled to.

What is Housing Benefit fraud?

Not giving information, on purpose, that affects a benefit claim is stealing. Benefit fraud is a criminal offence.

There are different types of benefit fraud. These include when the person doesn't tell us:

  • The actual income of the household
  • The correct amount of savings and capital in the household
  • If a partner, or other adults (over 18 years old), live in the same property
  • If they own another property or land
  • If they have moved (and continue to accept housing benefit payments)

Fraud can also be committed if:

  • The person pretends to rent a property which they actually own;
  • The person pretends to be paying more rent than they actually are; or
  • The landlord fails to tell us their tenant has moved and still accepts housing benefit payments for them.

How do you report a suspected Housing Benefit fraud?

If you know of or suspect anyone of claiming Housing Benefit dishonestly, tell the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) straight away. The information you provide is confidential and you don't have to give them your details.

You can tell the DWP by:

Telephone: DWP National Benefit Fraud Hotline

0800 854 440

0800 328 0512 (Text phone)

0800 678 3722 (Welsh speakers)

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

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

Council Tax Support Fraud

What is Council Tax Support?

Council Tax Support is a means-tested discount to help anyone on a low income with their Council Tax. We have to make sure that the Council Tax Support gets to those who need it, but there are people who try to fraudulently claim Council Tax Support they are not entitled to.

What is Council Tax Support fraud?

Not giving information, on purpose, that affects a Council Tax Support claim is stealing. Council Tax Support fraud is a criminal offence.

There are different types of Council Tax Support fraud. These include when the person doesn't tell us:

  • The actual income of the household
  • The correct amount of savings and capital in the household
  • If a partner, or other adult(s) (aged 18+), move into or live in the same property
  • If they own another property or land

How do you report suspected Council Tax Support fraud?

If you know or suspect anyone of committing Council Tax Support fraud, tell us straight away. The information you provide is confidential and you don't have to give us your details.

You can tell us by:

Telephone: 01977 727088

Email: Investigations.Team@wakefield.gcsx.gov.uk

Post: Revenues and Benefits Service, Wakefield Council, Wakefield One, PO Box 700, Wakefield, WF1 2EB

Council Tax Fraud

When an exemption, reduction, or discount has been allowed and the taxpayer subsequently fails, without reason, to tell us within 21 days of their belief that the exemption/discount/reduction should not apply, or that relevant circumstances have changed, then a penalty can be imposed. The penalty for such a failure in England is £70

Tell us about your changes

It is more important than ever to tell us when your circumstances change. If you don't you could receive a fine or be overpaid benefit which you will have to pay back.

A change could include things like if your hours at work change, your hourly rate changes, or you take on a different job. You should also tell us if anyone leaves or joins your household, or if any of their circumstances change, or if any other income or capital changes.

To report a change visit www.wakefield.gov.uk/changes​ or call us on 0345 8 504 504.

It is a criminal offence not to tell us about any changes that may affect your benefit and legal action could be taken against you.

Remember, had a change – don't delay – avoid having money to repay​