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Council tax fraud

In the last few years, people have received unsolicited calls with information that they are placed in the wrong council tax bracket and can get a rebate. 

Council tax fraud refers to the crime where the person claims to live alone when more than one person lives with them, or they claim to be a student, but they are not, or seek a discount in tax that they are not entitled to. 

One can be penalised if they have not been informed about the changed circumstances, like if they are not living alone. They will have to pay back the benefits if they have been wrongly awarded. 

You can be charged/ penalised for any of the following acts–

  • If you do not declare (or hide some information) to get a grant, for example - claim to live alone but have a partner.

  • Use some addresses for communication where you do not live.

  • If you are not informed about total income, capital and savings.

  • If you do not update about the changes in circumstances.

Government agencies record such data and conduct figure matching to prevent duplicity and detect fake information. However, such frauds cost the taxpayers, reducing the money available to invest in other welfare activities.

How Does It Happen?

A person gets an unsolicited call from someone seeking information and proposes to get higher benefits for a small fee. Nevertheless, they may only ask for personal/ bank details for identity theft.  

How To Protect Yourself?

  • Never respond to phone calls claiming to get you a government grant you are not entitled to.

  • The local council will never call to discuss the rebates or benefits.

  • No legitimate firm asks you to pay a fee to obtain a grant. Therefore, do not provide your credit card or bank details to people who seek a fee to help you claim a benefit.

  • If you suspect fraud, you can hang up the phone and, after some time, call the bank to report the crime.

Date Published: Sep 13, 2023

Types of fraud

A-Z of fraud

To help understand which fraud you've been affected by, we've categorised them into an alphabetical list.

What is fraud and cyber crime?

Cybercrimes can be of two types. First, it can be cyber dependent, where the fraudsters use online devices to convince the victim to accept their offers.

Advance fee fraud

If you are trying to get a loan for a house or a car, they ask to meet the provider to get the financing arrangement and pay the finder's fee in advance.

Corporate fraud

Corporate frauds can be complicated, committed either by the firm or an individual. Nevertheless, it mostly involves cheating where the employee or the firm.

Individual fraud

There are many types of individual frauds related to advance fees, investments, insurance brokers, bogus tradespeople, Ponzi schemes, pension liberation.

Online fraud

Hence the number of cases of online fraud is increasing each year, and most such cases include – account takeover, direct frauds, or scams related domain names.

Identity fraud and identity theft

The criminal uses the stolen identity of another person living or deceased to conduct unlawful activities like obtaining goods or services in another's name.

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