How we deal with fraud

Fraud is not a victimless crime; it is theft - not just from the Council but against members of the public and it’s a criminal offence.

Help us to ensure that all spending goes on delivering and improving public services by telling us if you think someone's committing fraud. You can report it to us by filling in one of our online forms on this page.

Fraud we deal with

Find out more about the types of fraud reports we look into and what happens when you report fraud by browsing the tabs below.

Council Tax fraud

Council tax fraud includes:

  • failing to register to pay council tax
  • making a false application for a council tax discount, exemption or reduction
  • claiming a single person discount when someone else lives in the property

Tell us if you know someone who's committing council tax fraud. All you need to do is fill in our online form below or email our fraud investigation team

Council Tax support fraud

Council tax support fraud includes:

  • failing to declare all of your income, including earnings and private pensions
  • failing to declare all of your savings, including all bank/building society accounts and ISAs
  • failing to declare that you own another property or land
  • failing to declare a partner or other adults who live with you
  • failing to report any change in circumstances that might affect an existing claim

If you make false claims or don’t tell us straight away about changes to your circumstances, you’ll have to repay any overpaid support. You may also be prosecuted. In less serious cases, you may receive a formal caution or a fine instead of prosecution.

Tell us if you know someone who's committing council tax support fraud. All you need to do is fill in our online benefit fraud form or email our fraud investigation team

Blue Badge fraud

The Blue Badge Scheme is designed to ensure parking spaces are available for disabled people. Each Blue Badge belongs to one person. It can be used with any vehicle that the badge holder is travelling in. The badge must not be used when the badge holder is not there.

Altering a blue badge or using someone else’s if fraud. It stops disabled people being able to park close to their destination and means councils have less money to spend on services.

Misuse of a badge by someone who is not disabled is an offence under section 115 and section 117 of the Road Traffic Act 1984. 

Blue Badge offenders could be prosecuted and receive a fine of up to £1,000. There may also be a penalty imposed for any parking offence.

If you suspect that someone in Barnsley is fraudulently using a blue badge, email our fraud investigation team to report it to us.

Letting us know the following information can help us to deal with misuse:

  • the Blue Badge reference number, expiry date and who it was issued by
  • registration number of the vehicle displaying the badge
  • where the vehicle is usually parked

Housing fraud

Housing fraud deprives people in genuine need of affordable homes. It includes:

  • providing false or misleading information to get a council house, for example saying you have children when you don't
  • subletting a council house without permission
  • living in a property after someone has died without the right to do so
  • not living in a council house and leaving it empty
  • providing false information in a ‘right to buy’ application

Anyone caught committing housing fraud is likely to lose their tenancy and may be fined or sent to prison.

If you suspect that someone in Barnsley is committing tenancy fraud, email our fraud investigation team to report it to us.

Insurance fraud

This includes false claims for:

  • damage caused by pot-holes
  • personal injury
  • damage to private property
  • serial claimants across a number of authorities
  • exaggerated claims by adding extra items to a genuine claim

Every penny that is defrauded from the Council (and the taxpayer) reduces the Council’s resources, and therefore the level of services the Council can provide.

If you suspect that someone in Barnsley is committing insurance fraud, email our fraud investigation team to report it to us.

Adult social care fraud

Adult social care fraud is thought to be the highest risk of fraud, costing councils millions of pounds every year.

Examples of fraud include:

  • exaggerating a disability or illness to receive more support
  • not declaring savings or capital in financial assessments
  • using direct payments for non-care related expenditure
  • carers claiming for hours not provided.

If you suspect that someone in Barnsley is committing adult social care fraud, email our fraud investigation team to report it to us.

What happens after I report fraud?

We’ll investigate and take action against any kind of fraud and corruption.

You don't have to give your details, but it's helpful if you do tell us your name and number. It will help our investigation if we can come back to you if we need more information from you.

Please give as much detail as you can, such as dates, full names, addresses, vehicle details, employment details.

We’ll look at all reported concerns.  Not all of them will warrant a full investigation; we may be able to resolve some matters informally.

We’ll handle any information you provide sensitively and in confidence. Check how we handle your information.

We’ll always prosecute if we think that doing so is in the public interest.

What we don't deal with

Some types of fraud are dealt with by external organisations or some you can deal with yourself. Please open the tabs below for more information.

Welfare or benefit fraud

For benefit fraud, like housing benefit, income support or disability benefits, report it to the Department for Work and Pensions.

Scams

A scam is a dishonest scheme designed to cheat you out of money. This is fraud and there are many different methods that fraudsters could try and use.

Read more about scams and how to protect yourself on our scams page.

Data sharing for the prevention and detection of fraud

As a council, we take part in the National Fraud Initiative. This exercise is coordinated by the Cabinet Office with the purpose of preventing and detecting fraud in public services and the benefits system.

We will also disclose data in accordance with the requirements of Section 68 of the Serious Crime Act 2007.

Read more about data sharing for the prevention and detection of fraud.