Help us stop benefit fraud

Benefit fraud occurs where individuals provide false or misleading information when they apply for benefit or fail to tell us about changes in their lives that affect the benefit they receive. Most people who claim benefit are honest but we are determined to catch, and where appropriate, prosecute the dishonest minority.

Where we have suspicions we will undertake a detailed investigation into claims. We have powers to obtain information from landlords, employers and banks and we will work with other agencies such as the Department for Work and Pensions and the police to help us catch fraudsters.

Typical types of benefit fraud

Working and claiming fraud - usually involves claimants who are in receipt of Housing Benefit or Local Council Tax Reduction on the basis of entitlement to Job Seekers Allowance or Income Support, but who are in fact working. Or maybe, they have not told us the true extent of their work or wages.

Non-disclosure of property or capital - where a claimant fails to declare either savings/capital or the ownership of another property/land elsewhere (for which they may be receiving rent or may have recently sold).

Non-disclosure of income - where the claimant fails to declare all of their income, knowing or intending that non-declaration will increase their benefit award.

Non-disclosure of a partner (living together as husband and wife or civil partners) - usually involves a claimant on benefit who fails to declare the presence of a partner (whether they are working or not), knowing or intending that this would affect their entitlement. It is fraudulent if a claimant fails to declare the presence of other adults living in the property, in order to preserve or increase entitlement to benefit.

False claims by homeowners - where the owner of a property falsely states that he or she is paying rent to occupy what is, in fact, his or her own property, usually inventing a fictitious landlord to do so.

Failing to declare a change of address - where a claimant fails to declare that he/she has moved, but continues to accept payments of Housing Benefit for their previous address.

False address fraud - where a person is claiming for an address at which he or she is not in fact living. This type of offence may occur with the collusion of the landlord or other tenants.

Landlord fraud - where a landlord continues to receive benefit paid directly to them for a period after which they are aware that the claimant has vacated the premises. Where the landlord has access to more than one property, there is the potential to move tenants around without informing the local authority.

Help us stop people claiming illegally

If you know that someone is claiming benefit, which they may not be entitled to get, please tell us. You don't have to tell us your name but it helps if you do. Any information you give will be treated in the strictest confidence.

  • Report suspected benefit fraud using our online form.
  • Call our 24 hour fraud hotline on 01394 444444 (answer phone out of office hours).
  • Email us at ccfu.scdc@eastsuffolk.gov.uk.
  • Write to us at: Counter Fraud, Suffolk Coastal District Council, Melton Hill, Woodbridge IP12 1AU.

Please provide as much information as you can about the person (and any partner) and why you think they are committing benefit fraud. The more information you provide, the better we will be able to investigate.