The list below, although not exhaustive, show the types of fraud that Stirling Council investigate. If you suspect someone of committing any of these frauds then please report this via our online form and provide as much detail as possible.
Blue Badge Fraud can be categorized into two groups.
- Abuse of badge - This includes using a counterfeit badge, using a lost or stolen badge and using the badge of a deceased person.
- Misuse of a Blue Badge - This means using the badge when the holder is not present. Blue Badges should only be used by the registered badge holder for their benefit, and must not allow other people to use the badge for their own journeys. Allowing someone else to use a badge is a criminal offence. To reduce the risk of this happening accidentally, the badge should be removed from the vehicle whenever the parking concessions are not in use.
Examples of Business Rates Fraud are:
- Not declaring a new business premises
- Not declaring that a property is being used for business purposes
- Failure to inform the council that a business has moved into a property
- Falsely stating that a property is no longer in use, when it actually is
- Falsely claiming a reduction or relief
Council Tax Discount Fraud
This may include lying about who lives in a property and/or the circumstances of people living in a property to get discounts, for example:
- Claiming a 25% single person discount when another person over 18 is resident.
- Claiming a discounted bill by saying a property is empty and unfurnished.
- Not notifying the Revenues & Benefits section in Stirling Council of a change in circumstances that may affect entitlement to discounts or exemptions.
Council Tax Reduction Scheme Fraud
The Council Tax Reduction Scheme (CTRS) replaced Council Tax Benefit on 1st April 2013. This type of fraud is the deliberate misrepresentation of circumstances, or the
deliberate failure to notify a change of circumstances with the intent of gaining some advantage, in this case a full or part reduction of their Council Tax bill. The types of Fraud are:
- Failing to declare a partner is living at the property
- Failing to declare a change in Income
- Failing to declare savings/Capital in excess of £16,000
- Failing to declare a Non Dependent is resident at the property
*This list is not exhaustive*
Housing Benefit Fraud
The investigation of Housing Benefit fraud is now the responsibility or the Department for Work and Pensions, If you feel that someone is cheating the Housing Benefits system, please call the National Benefit Fraud Hotline on 0800 854440 or if you would prefer report this via the DWP website https://www.gov.uk/report-benefit-fraud.
There are a number of frauds that may be committed by council staff, such as:
- abuse of position and or powers by a member of staff
- submission of expense claims for duties not carried out, or inflating claims
- claiming sick pay when fit to work
- failure to work contracted hours
- creation of "ghost employees" in the payroll system to generate payments to themselves or others
- submission of applications for employment containing bogus qualifications or references, or they may not have the right to work in the UK.
This is where someone makes a false or exaggerated claim to receive compensation, examples are:
- Making a false claim for a non existent incident
- Exaggerating claims by inflating the cost of damages
- Serial claimants submitting multiple claims across a number of authorities
Procurement Fraud is a deliberate deception intended to influence any stage of the procure-to-pay lifecycle in order to make a financial gain or cause a loss. It can be perpetrated by contractors or sub-contractors external to the organisation, as well as staff within the organisation, examples of this are:
- Bid rigging/bid splitting
- Creation of shell companies to facilitate fraudulent payments
- Collusion between suppliers
- Purchase order and contract variation orders
- Unjustified single source awards
- False invoices for products and services for suppliers who do not exist
School Placement Fraud
This is when fraudulent or misleading information is provided to the authority in order to get your child a place at a school, examples are:
- Stating you or your child live at an address within the schools catchment area when you actually reside elsewhere.
- Submitting false or misleading information to support the fraudulent application
Self Directed Support Fraud
Self-directed support (SDS) allows people to choose how their support is provided to them by giving them as much ongoing control as they want over the individual budget spent on their support.
SDS fraud examples are:
- Submitting false invoices for care provided
- Submitting false application when applying for Self Directed Support payments
- Monies not being used as it was intended
Stirling Council has a duty to ensure that properties are awarded to individuals legally entitled to them. When someone commits any form of tenancy fraud then individuals on the waiting list for housing will be waiting longer for a home.
- Application Fraud - where somebody lies about their circumstances to get a property or to be moved up the housing list. This could prevent those in the most need from getting a property and could mean families end up in temporary accommodation unnecessarily.
- Illegal sub-letting - where a council tenant does not live in their property and then rents part or all of it out to somebody else. This can result in sub-tenants being exploited. Also, the tenant may be illegally profiting from the sub-let.
- Abandonment - where somebody has a property but does not live in it and lives somewhere else instead. These properties remain empty or might be getting used as storage. They could be used by somebody with a greater need instead.
- Succession Fraud - where somebody lies about living in a property to enable them to get the tenancy after someone has died. People may do this to keep a property they do not need or would not get if they had to follow the normal application process.