Do you know anyone who is committing fraud?
The Council can be exposed to fraud and corruption through a variety of internal and external sources. The following is a list of some of the common types of fraud that may be committed against the Council.
If you know anyone who you believe is committing fraud against the Council please let us know immediately
Common types of frauds experienced by the Council include:
An agency worker is supplied by an employment agency to carry out agreed tasks for a specified period of time.
Indicators of Agency Workers Fraud include
Are you aware of Agency Workers who are not performing in accordance with the council's requirements, for example:
- Claiming for hours that they have not worked
- Charging inflated rates
- Not providing work of the required standard
Are you aware of people or organisations that are making payments to the Council using money that resulted from the proceeds of crime?
To find out more about Money Laundering and how to report it see the Anti-Money Laundering Policy.
Blue Badges are provided to disabled people who have difficulty using public transport. Disabled persons displaying a Blue Badge may park free of charge and without time limit at designated locations. The Blue Badge must be displayed along with a blue parking disc showing the time of arrival.
Indicators of Blue Badge Fraud include:
Are you aware of a person who is using a blue badge when they are not entitled? For example, they have:
- Exaggerated their health issues to obtain a Blue Badge
- Continued to use a Blue Badge after a person has died
- Used the Blue Badge when the badge holder is not in the vehicle
- Sold or given the Blue Badge to another person
- Obtained more than one blue badge by applying to different councils
Non-Domestic Rates or Business Rates are paid by all businesses unless they qualify for relief or an exemption.
Indicators of Business Rates Fraud include:
Are you aware of any business that is not paying business rates when they should be? For example:
- A business avoids paying rates by moving into a previously empty property without informing the Council that it is now occupied.
- A business falsely claims that a property is unoccupied to obtain empty property exemption.
- A business has provided false details and accounts to obtain rates relief.
- A charity or not for profit organisation is registered as the occupier of a property to claim mandatory and discretionary rates relief while the property is actually being used by a profit-making organisation.
- A business falsely claiming insolvency with the intent to avoid paying rates.
To report Council Tax fraud please visit. the Revenues and Benefits page.
The owner, leaseholder or tenant of a property is responsible for paying Council Tax. The amount paid is based on the banding of the property A to H. The full liability is based on two or more adults being at the property and a full bill is paid unless an exemption or discount is granted.
Indicators of Council Tax Fraud include:
Are you aware of people who are paying less Council Tax than they should, for example, they have:
- Claimed that they qualify for a Council Tax discount or exemption to which they are not entitled, such as claiming:
- Single person discount while more than one qualifying adult is living at the property
- Student discount when the people living at the property are not students
- Empty property exemption when the property is occupied
An employee manipulates the councils' systems or fails to comply with policies for their own benefit or the benefit of someone else.
Indicators of Employee Fraud include:
Are you aware of a council employee who is obtaining payments or benefits to which they are not entitled?
- Bogus customer records and bank accounts are created so that false payments can be generated.
- Processing false claims from accomplices for benefits, grants or repayments.
- Self-authorising payments to themselves.
- Claiming travel and subsistence for journeys that were not made, making false client entertainment claims and making claims for amounts higher than that spent.
- Making unauthorised amendments to documents such as timesheets
- Forging signatures to authorise payment.
- Staff on sick leave but working elsewhere
- Abuses of flexible working time systems
- Conducting personal work while being paid by the council
- Supplying council information to outsiders for personal gain.
- Adjusting records of the amounts owed by customers in return for cash rewards or other incentives.
The Police will investigate allegations where somebody is prepared to provide evidence or a statement in support of the complaint.
Every police force has a designated single point of contact (known as a SPOC) to lead on election matters. If you wish to contact the Police direct, you can dial 101. Choose the West Midlands Police option and make your report. Alternatively, you can visit the nearest staffed police station. Please ask for the report to be labelled "Election" and ask for it to be forwarded to the Economic Crime Team.
If you are concerned or think electoral fraud may have occurred, you should raise the matter with Electoral Services. They may be able to explain whether or not an election-related crime has been committed, and can refer it to the Police as appropriate.
Concerns about political finance rules should be raised directly with the Electoral Commission (020 7271 0616 or email@example.com)
Members of the public make insurance claims against the Council where they have faced personal injury or loss and believe the Council to be responsible, for example, an injury arising from accidents on a public footpath.
Indicators of Insurance Fraud include:
Are you aware of people who make false insurance claims against the Council? For example, they:
- Exaggerate the extent of injuries or damage caused by a genuine accident
- Claim that an item that is lost, stolen or damaged is worth more than its real value
- Claim for an item that did not exist
- Claim for an accident that did not happen
- Stage an accident so that a claim can be made
- Claim for an accident that happened elsewhere
- Submit invoices that have been inflated to include work or items that should not form part of the insurance claim
The Department of Works and Pensions (DWP) is responsible for the investigation of Housing Benefit Fraud. To report Housing Benefit Fraud please visit their site directly.
Indicators of Housing Benefit Fraud include:
Are you aware of people receiving housing benefits who you believe are not entitled, for example, they have:
- Failed to declare that they are working when claiming housing benefits
- Failed to declare a change in circumstances such as obtaining a job
- Failed to declare that they own property or have savings and investments
- Failed to declare that they have a partner, relative, friend or lodger living with them who is in employment.
- Made the claim using a false identity
- Failed to live at the property where they are receiving benefits or are subletting the property
- Paid rent to a family member or partner
Find out more about Benefit Fraud.
Wolverhampton Homes is responsible for investigating tenancy fraud and Right to Buy fraud on behalf of the council. To report one of these types of fraud please visit the site.
Indicators of Housing Tenancy Fraud include:
Are you aware of tenants living in Social Housing who are not complying with the terms of their tenancy agreement, for example, they have:
- Provided false information to obtain or continue the tenancy of a property, this may include, they:
- Already have another property
- Sublet part or all of their property to make a profit
- Do not use the property as their main home, they live somewhere else
- Provided false or fake information to qualify for a tenancy or a right to buy discount
Are you aware of anyone who holds a Taxi, Personal Alcohol or Markets licence, that has been issued by the Council, who you believe should not hold the licence, for example:
- Applicants who provided false or inaccurate information on their application
- Applicants who do not have a valid permit to work in the UK
Procurement is the process of acquiring goods and services in order to satisfy the needs of a person, group or organisation. Council procurement ranges from purchasing small commodities such as stationery to large one-off purchases such as new street lighting or buildings; through to long term specialist services such as waste management or care provision.
Indicators of Procurement Fraud include:
Are you aware of any person's or organisations that are not providing goods and services in accordance with the council's requirements, for example:
- Bidding organisations collude to agree that they will not bid competitively for a particular contract
- Employees of the Council have been given inducements (bribes) in order to favour a person or organisation when awarding contracts; inducements may include money, goods, services, holidays and hospitality.
- Employees failing to declare an interest in one of the businesses bidding
- Employees making false payments or overpayments to businesses
- Employees clearing invoices for good for personal use
- Businesses submitting false invoices for work not completed, goods not provided and for extra costs deliberately omitted from the original quotation or tender
- Businesses providing duplicate invoices for goods and services where payment has already been completed
- Businesses overcharging including, inflating hourly rates and applying excessive mark-up of goods
- Businesses providing goods and services that are inferior to those specified or expected
- Businesses providing false or inflated performance information to receive higher payments
- Businesses providing sub-standard goods
Recruitment and Selection is the process of securing the employment of the right person, with the right skills at the right time. The process is heavily governed by extensive legislation.
Indicators of Recruitment Fraud include:
Are you aware of any people who are working for the Council who should not be? For example:
- The recruitment process has been manipulated to favour one applicant
- Employees who provided false or inaccurate information on their application, for example, providing false references, qualifications and work histories.
- Employees who have provided fake or forged documents as proof of their identity
- Employees who do not have a valid permit to work in the UK.
- Recruitment of a family member or a friend
Personal Budget direct payments have become an increasingly common way to deliver adult social care. Direct payments are made to service users enabling them to have greater control over the purchase of their care provision. The transfer of the control of funds to those requiring care gives rise to an increased risk of fraud directly against the service user, perpetrated by those providing care or by those managing funds on behalf of the service user.
Indicators of Personal Budget Direct Payment Fraud include:
Are you aware of people who receive a Personal Budget payment direct to them so that they can arrange and pay for their own care needs, but the care is not being provided as intended, for example?
- Falsely obtained a higher level of personal budget than their true condition and care needs require
- Failing to declare capital or assets in order to obtain a higher level of personal budget
- Applying for or obtaining multiple Personal Budgets from different Councils
- Paying for care that has not been provided by the carer
- Providing false or fake receipts and invoices to justify Personal Budget expenditure
- Purchasing items or services not related to their care needs
- Paying close family members as carers, where they are not eligible to be a carer
- Failing to report changes in circumstances where their care needs have reduced
- A carer using a person's personal budgets for their own use
- A carer continuing to receive Personal Budget payments after a person has died
- Vulnerable individuals being placed at risk
Grants can be awarded and paid to individuals, community groups, not for profit organisations and arm's length organisations. Grants are awarded for specific purposes and the recipients are responsible for ensuring monies are used for the intended purpose and that appropriate evidence is retained to account for expenditure.
Indicators of Grant Fraud include
Are you aware of any person or organisation that has received a grant from the Council and it has not been used for the intended purpose, for example, they have:
- Provided inaccurate or false information in order to obtain a grant
- Obtained grants from multiple sources with all being for the same purpose
- Used the grant for purchases that are not included in the grant conditions
- Used the grant for personal purchases
- Not used the items or services for the purpose specified in the grant conditions.
- Sold items for personal profit that were paid for using the grant
- Submitted false or inflated invoices as justification for grant expenditure