- What is fraud?
- Adult social care financial abuse and fraud
- Benefit fraud
- How we deal with reported fraud
What is fraud?
We are at risk of losing over £10 million a year through fraud, corruption, theft and error. Our aim is to investigate fraud across all services including:
- Blue Badge fraud
- business rates fraud
- Council Tax fraud
- staff fraud
- tenancy fraud
We are committed to reducing and ending fraud and corruption in Enfield. We have outlined what action we will be taking in the following policies:
- Anti-Money Laundering Policy (PDF, 611.5 KB)
- Counter Fraud Policy and Operating Plan (PDF, 2712.89 KB)
- Sanction and Prosecution Policy (PDF, 619.69 KB)
- Whistleblowing Policy (PDF, 1228.26 KB)
What is fraud?
You are committing fraud if you knowingly or dishonestly claim or get something you know you are not entitled to, such as:
- claiming to be homeless to get a council house when you already have accommodation
- failing to report you no longer live on your own so you can continue to receive a discount on your Council Tax
- lying on a grant application to get funds from us
- providing false information to get a council contract for work or services
- sub-letting your council accommodation
- using someone else’s council services which you know you are not entitled to
Adult social care financial abuse and fraud
It can be hard to spot financial abuse as its effects are not always as obvious as other types of abuse. There are some signs that could point to financial abuse:
- Abrupt changes in a Will or financial documents
- A carer’s or family member’s lifestyle becoming enhanced
- An unexplained inability to pay bills or a shortage in money
- A person’s possessions being sold
- A sudden change in living circumstances
- Financial documents disappearing
- The addition of a third party signature on a person’s bank account
- Unexplained withdrawals from bank accounts, no matter how small
- Withdrawal from family, friends and social network
Report any money that has gone missing as soon as possible to the police and your bank.
Report fraud or attempted fraud and scams or viruses using Action Fraud, which is the UK’s national fraud and internet crime reporting centre. You can also report it to our fraud hotline on 020 8379 4289.
If you are worried that your money is being misused, or think that someone you know is being taken advantage of report it to the Enfield adult abuse line on 020 8379 5212.
Protect yourself against fraud
To help keep your money safe and prevent fraud, you should:
- always use a reputable trader and get three quotes for work
- check bank statements thoroughly and keep them in a safe place
- do not give cash gifts or loans to people who are paid to care for you
- do not keep large sums of cash in your home
- ensure that anyone with access to your money is legally appointed to do so
- never give anyone blank cheques
- never reveal your PIN number to anyone
- never rush to part with your money, as you are legally entitled to a ‘cooling off’ period
- only send money to a person you know and trust
- pay bills by direct debit or standing order, if possible
- pay by cheque and ask for receipts if someone is shopping for you
- remember you cannot win a prize in a competition you have not entered
- say "no thank you" and close the door to cold callers
- shred documents that contain personal information, like your name, address and date of birth
- treat all callers as bogus until you are sure that they are genuine
To protect yourself against financial abuse and fraud you should also arrange who will look after your money, possessions or property if you are no longer able to. Planning a Will ensures that you have choice and control about what will happen to your assets once the time comes.
Organise for people you trust to look after your financial affairs and know what you want in the future if you become physically or mentally frail. Write down where you might wish to live if you cannot stay in your own home.
For more information, see:
- Action Fraud
- Department for Work and Pensions
- Office of the Public Guardian (also for advice on how someone without mental capacity can make a Will)
- Citizens Advice Bureau
- Preventing abuse and fraud factsheet (PDF, 571.6 KB)
We are committed to protecting public funds and will investigate all allegations of benefit fraud.
If you believe someone is claiming benefit they are not entitled to you can report them or call the National Benefit Fraud Hotline on 0800 854 440.
If you claim Housing Benefit, Council Tax Support or Social Security benefits, you are committing benefit fraud if you:
- claim as a single person but actually live with a partner
- claim from an address but do not live there
- do not tell us the full amount of income, savings or capital you have when you claim benefit
- fail to report changes in circumstances
- work, but do not declare this when you submit your claim
- do not have any right to claim
How we deal with reported fraud
We are committed to protecting public funds and have a zero tolerance towards fraud. Our aim is to recover fraud losses including the full costs of investigations and going to court, and reduce corruption.
We work with other agencies such as the police, Department for Work and Pensions and HM Revenue and Custom to limit people from benefiting from their criminal conduct.
We will prosecute you or apply financial penalties and fines where it is in the public’s interest to do so. If you are convicted, the court will decide the punishment.
For more information on how we will deal with fraud and recover funds, refer to our Counter Fraud Strategy and Plan.