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.
Research by the Audit Commission has found that while councils were more efficiently tackling long-established frauds, new scams were now emerging in areas such as business rates, Right to Buy housing schemes and at schools.
Between April 2011 and April 2012 councils in England uncovered a total of more than 124,000 cases of fraud adding up to £179 million.
That compares to the 121,000 cases, totalling £185 million, detected the previous year.
More top news
Watch Molly's shock as her high school sweetheart Kevin pops the question as they are getting their picture taken.
Police are searching for the 'despicable' thieves who stole an elderly couple's Christmas money in a distraction robbery.
The alleged row over parking is said to have started after the local council re-paved a road in Harrow.