Reporting Fraud to Newcastle City Council

If you suspect that someone is committing fraud or corruption please report it. Please provide as much information as possible as this will assist us in investigating the allegation. All information is treated in the strictest confidence.

You can report your allegation anonymously or provide contact details if you are willing to be contacted to discuss the allegation.

 

Fraud and corruption reporting form

 

Alternatively, to report concerns or discuss fraud related enquiries, you can e-mail us at fraud@newcastle.gov.uk or call the Fraud Hotline on 0191 277 1166.

If you are a Your Homes Newcastle (YHN) tenant, you can also report Housing/Tenancy fraud in person by visiting a Housing Service Hub. Please note, we are unable to update you on the progress and outcomes of our investigations.

If you think you are a victim of fraud, please call or e-mail us and we will direct you to the right team who can get the advice and support you need.

What is fraud or corruption?

 Fraud within the public sector costs the taxpayer billions every year.  Examples of some of the frauds which may be committed against the Council are provided below.

 Housing / Tenancy fraud which includes:

  • Application fraud where somebody lies about their circumstances to get a property or to be moved up the housing list. This could prevent those in the most need from getting a property and could mean families end up in temporary accommodation unnecessarily.

  • Illegal sub-letting where a council or housing association tenant does not live in their property and then rents part or all of it out to somebody else. This can result in sub-tenants being exploited. Also, the tenant may be illegally profiting from the sub-let.

  • Right to buy / Right to acquire fraud where somebody lies or provides false information to enable them to buy their property when they would otherwise not be entitled to (for example, if they are not living at the property). This reduces the number of properties available for those who need them. As a result, more properties may need to be built and this is expensive.

  • Abandonment where somebody has a property but does not live in it and lives somewhere else instead. These properties remain empty or might be getting used as storage. They could be used by somebody with a greater need instead.

  • Succession fraud where somebody lies about living in a property to enable them to get the tenancy after someone has died. People may do this to keep a property they do not need or would not get if they had to follow the normal application process.

Council tax fraud which may include lying about who lives in a property and/or the circumstances of people living in a property to get discounts (for example, single person discount, student discount or a discounted bill through the Council Tax Reduction Scheme).

Business rates fraud where someone does not tell us they are operating a business, or they lie about the business to avoid paying the correct fees.

Social care payment fraud where a person lies about their circumstances to get extra money, does not spend the money on care but spends it on other things or lies about their family member being their carer.

Grant claim fraud where individuals or organisations provide false information to obtain grant money they are not eligible for or do not spend the grant money for the reasons it was provided.

Blue badge / parking permit fraud where somebody continues to use a blue badge / permit after the badge holder has died, uses the blue badge where the person is not in the vehicle or gives the parking permit to other people who would not be entitled to it.

Insurance fraud where somebody lies about what has happened and makes a dishonest claim against the council to try to get a pay-out or compensation.

Council employee fraud could include an employee abusing their position to get a family member or friend a job with the council or to get them a council house.

Contractor or supplier fraud could include companies providing gifts or services in kind to a councillor or employee in return for an award of contract.

 

Benefit Fraud

Benefit fraud relates to Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) related benefits such as Housing Benefit, Universal Credit, Jobseeker’s Allowance, Working Tax Credits etc. Benefit fraud must be reported direct to the DWP. This is not investigated by Newcastle City Council.

If you suspect that someone is committing Benefit Fraud, you should report them straight away. Call Department for Work & Pensions on 0800 854 440. This is a free number and you will not be charged 

Alternatively you can report benefit fraud directly to the DWP

Report Benefit Fraud

 

Fraud Statistics

The Council seeks firstly to prevent fraud and corruption but will take all action necessary to identify fraud if suspected and to pursue the recovery of losses and the suitable punishment of those responsible.

Local authorities must publish the following information under the Local Government Transparency Code 2014 about their counter fraud work:

The below figures relate to financial year 2018/19 (01/04/18 to 31/03/19)

Area

Total/Amount

Number of occasions powers under the Prevention of Social Housing Fraud (Power to Require Information) (England) Regulations 2014, or similar powers have been used

7

Total number of employees undertaking investigations and prosecutions of fraud

1

Total number of professionally accredited counter fraud specialists

1

Total amount spent by the authority on the investigation and prosecution of fraud

£17,473

Total number of fraud cases investigated

16

 

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