What is Benefit Fraud?
Benefit fraud is where people claim benefit,
including housing benefit and council tax support, that they are
not entitled to by giving false information or not telling us when
their circumstances change.
Some examples of benefit fraud are:
- people who work but do not declare it when
they claim benefit.
- people who claim as a single person but
actually live with a partner.
- people who claim from an address, but do not
actually live there.
- people who do not tell us the full amount of
their income, savings or capital when they claim benefit.
How does Benefit Fraud affect me?
Benefit fraud accounts for the largest single
abuse of public funds in the UK. It’s a crime that neither Local
nor Central government are taking lightly.
People who deliberately claim benefits when
they are not entitled to it are committing a criminal offence.
Benefit fraud can also be committed by
landlords and employers. If a landlord, who is paid housing
benefit directly on behalf of their tenant, fails to notify the
council that their tenant has left the property then they may be
committing benefit fraud.
Employers of benefit claimants may be
committing benefit fraud if they understate the number of hours
worked or wages paid to their employees.
Who are my local Benefit Fraud Investigation Team?
Northumberland Council employs a team of
professionally trained investigators who have legal powers to
obtain information from financial institutions such as banks,
credit card companies, government departments and other local
authorities. Information can also be sourced from employers,
utility companies and internet providers to name just a
Northumberland County Council Benefit Fraud
Investigation Team use a variety of methods to obtain information
including surveillance, computer data matches (including National
Fraud Initiative), and undertake joint working with the Department
for Work and Pensions, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, the
Police and other organisations.
How can I report a suspected Benefit Fraud?
IF YOU THINK SOMEONE IS CLAIMING
BENEFITS FROM NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY COUNCIL WHICH THEY ARE NOT
ENTITLED TO PLEASE LET US KNOW.
We would like your help to identify the
individuals committing benefit fraud.
You can remain completely anonymous and any
information you provide will be treated in confidence.
If you suspect that somebody is committing benefit fraud you
can report it to us by completing our online form by
You can also e-mail our dedicated
fraud team at Fraudline@northumberland.gov.uk
To assist us in our enquiries we need as much
information as possible, for example:
- the nature of the fraud
- name and address of the person(s)
- details of employment including the type of
work, employer name and address, hours of work, approximate
- details of any undeclared partner including
their name, description, employment, departure times from the
- description of vehicles, including
registration number, colour and make if known.
You can also call the National Benefit Fraud
Hotline on 0800 854 440. Text phone users call 0800 328 0512
or log onto the National Benefit Fraud at https://secure.dwp.gov.uk/benefitfraud/
What does the fraud process involve?
We will investigate any reported fraud and if
we have sufficient evidence, we will take legal action against that
person. The investigation may establish that no fraud has
taken place, in which case no further action will be taken.
Unfortunately we cannot tell you the outcome
of individual investigations but we may publicise our results and
the outcome of successful prosecutions in the local media.
Fraud frequently asked questions
Please click here to see our dedicated page of
frequently asked questions regarding fraud.
Fraud Hotline: 01670 502444
Secure Fraud Fax: 01670 843215
Benefit Fraud Investigations Team
Northumberland County Council