Barnsley urged to help fight fraud

Barnsley Council will be holding its first ever Anti-Fraud Awareness Week - “Fraud: Spot it, Stop it” - from Monday, 17 to Friday, 21 September.

As well as highlighting how Barnsley residents can protect themselves against consumer fraud and scams, the council also wants to raise awareness about the impact of council-related fraud.

Councils across the country face a significant fraud challenge, with fraud costing local authorities an estimated £2.1 billion a year.

Every one pound that Barnsley Council loses to fraud is a pound that it cannot spend on supporting local communities.

Cllr Alan Gardiner, Cabinet Spokesperson for Corporate Services, said: “Fraud is a drain on valuable council resources, in a time when every penny counts and budgets are decreasing.

“Fraudsters do not respect boundaries, rules or regulations and will take any opportunity to steal money that is intended to help others. We need people to spot it and stop it by reporting it to the council.”

A number of departments across the council will be working alongside Berneslai Homes to provide advice, guidance and support to the public on issues including scams; misuse of Blue Badges for parking; unlicensed/illegal taxis; illicit tobacco sales; tenancy fraud and the rights of private tenants.

A dedicated market stall will be on Market Parade, near the café area, on Wednesday, 19 and Friday, 21 September, with council staff on hand to give advice.

Residents can report fraud including; council tax or housing benefit fraud; fraudulently redirecting money intended for social care; providing false information in a ‘right to buy’ application or misuse of Blue Badges by emailing corporatefraudinvestigations@barnsley.gov.uk  or calling the fraud hotline on 0800 138 2940.

Any information provided will be handled sensitively and in confidence.

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