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Councils battle fraud deception

Councils battling fraud are detecting "only the tip of the iceberg" as local government is targeted by new forms of deception, a report published today warns.

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Councils battle fake housing and tax fraud

The report into fraud revealed fake housing and council tax benefit claims continue to account for the largest proportion of all council fraud losses - £119 million in the latest survey - however local government counter-fraud teams are spotting new risks.

These include a case uncovered by a council where housing tenants lied about their identities to increase the discount available to them under the Government's Right to Buy housing scheme.

Grants available to individuals, community groups and voluntary organisations have also been targeted by fraudsters making false applications, and evidence is also emerging of fraudulent misuse of business rate relief by companies.

The commission reported that schools are falling victim to internal and external frauds in recent years, including those involving expenses and the altering of cheques, as well as procurement and finance leases.

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