St Helens Council is running a Fraud Awareness campaign across social media to encourage people to report fraud committed against the council, marking International Fraud Awareness Week.
Every year across the country, £billions of taxpayers’ money is lost due to fraud. The National Fraud Office suggests that the full extent of public sector losses is unknown, since much fraud is hidden, difficult to find or remains unreported.
Coun Anthony Johnson cabinet member for corporate services, said: “Where the council is the victim of fraud, this is money that should be used to improve our communities and the services we provide.
“With budgets reducing to such an extent that valued services must be reviewed, altered and even cut to balance the budget, the impact of fraudulent activity against us is increased all the more.
“I’d encourage local people to report such activity to us, so that those responsible for abusing the system can be stopped.”
Types of fraud committed against councils include Council Tax discount and exemptions fraud; Non-Domestic Rates fraud; personal budgets, direct payments and social care fraud; tenancy and housing fraud; Blue Badge fraud; theft or misuse of council property; council staff fraud; insurance fraud; and procurement fraud.
For more information on the different types of fraud – or to report fraud being committed against St Helens Council, please visit www.sthelens.gov.uk/fraud.
Alternatively, you can contact the Fraud Hotline on 0800 953 0217.
Benefit fraud is investigated by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and can be reported by visiting www.gov.uk/benefit-fraud or by ringing 0800 854 440.