Con artists and fraudsters who seek to steal money by illegally claiming benefits to which they are not entitled, are being warned Enfield Council is working to track them down.
Following several successful cases, the Council wants residents to report anyone who they genuinely believe is committing fraud, so action can be taken.
Recently, a couple who defrauded Enfield Council’s Tax Department of nearly £9,000 were successfully prosecuted in court. They had fictitious tenants living in their home, had submitted falsified tenancy agreements and had also tried to claim a single person’s Council Tax discount. The latter rang alarm bells which led Enfield Council’s Fraud Team to act.
Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Finance & Procurement, Cllr Mary Maguire, said: “Committing fraud is a despicable act which takes limited money and resources away from the residents who need it the most.
“We will always prosecute fraud cases and will seek the toughest possible sentence for anyone found guilty of defrauding the Council.”
You are committing fraud if you knowingly or dishonestly claim or get something you know you are not entitled to. For example, deliberately failing to tell us that you no longer live on your own so you can continue to receive a discount on your Council Tax could be classed as fraud.
The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) estimated that in 2016/17 the value of Council Tax fraud nationally stood at £25.5m, of which £19.5m involved fraudulent claims for a single person’s discount.*
To read more about fraud and to make an anonymous report if you believe something is wrong, please go to Enfield Council’s website here .
*Source: The CIPFA Fraud and Corruption Tracker 2017