Fraud | LocalGov

Five million could be disenfranchised by voter ID, polling finds

11/04/2024

Five million voters could be disenfranchised by the Government’s new voter ID rules at the General Election, first-of-its-kind polling has suggested.

Lost Homes, Lost Hope – why fighting tenancy fraud matters

19/03/2024

Alan Bryce, interim head of the Fraud Advisory Panel, argues that cracking down on tenancy fraud can help solve the local government financial crisis.

Bodies removed from funeral home in fraud case

11/03/2024

Police have removed 34 bodies from the premises of Legacy Independent Funeral Directors in Yorkshire over concerns about the care of the deceased.

Council probe leads officers to ‘step back’

19/02/2024

Two senior Guildford and Waverley officers have agreed to temporarily ‘step back’ from their roles amid intensifying investigations into housing maintenance contracts.

Former council worker jailed for fraud

19/02/2024

A former council employee and a roofing firm worker have been jailed for fraud and bribery after they conspired to defraud New Forest District Council.

West Suffolk defrauded of £52,000

27/11/2023

West Suffolk Council has revealed that it lost £52,000 in a fraud incident this year.

Tackling fraud in the public sector: how can central government support local authorities?

08/11/2023

Colin Gray, principal fraud consultant at SAS UK, explains the current perceived risks from citizens around fraud, and how public sector bodies can deploy technology to counteract it and protect public finances.

Why know your business checks are vital to prevent fraud

06/11/2023

Barley Laing, UK managing director at Melissa, explains know your business checks and how they can help councils avoid the threat of fraud.

Scam warning amid digital switchover

18/09/2023

Criminals are exploiting the analogue to digital switchover to scam users of health care telephony devices into giving personal information, councils warn.

Voter ID law ‘poisoned cure’, MPs say

12/09/2023

The voter ID rule which was brought in to tackle electoral fraud ahead of the 2023 local elections ‘disenfranchises more voters than it protects’, MPs say.

Weaknesses in Newport counter-fraud approach

17/08/2023

‘Weaknesses’ have been found in Newport City Council’s approach to fraud, a finance watchdog has reported.

Sheffield council staff dismissed or resigned over fraud, report says

28/07/2023

Staff at Sheffield City Council have lost their jobs or resigned following the discovery of fraudulent activity, according to a report.

Councils warned over £16m of fake pothole claims

09/06/2023

Insurance experts have warned councils over a rise in fake claims for damage to vehicles caused by potholes.

Council helps Premier League stop £7m streaming fraud

31/05/2023

Five men who illegally streamed Premier League matches have been jailed following a trading-standards investigation led by Hammersmith and Fulham Council.

Voting reforms could ‘erect barriers’ for elderly, charity says

25/05/2023

The introduction of further checks on postal and proxy voting could disenfranchise older people, an elderly persons charity has warned.

New checks on postal and proxy voting announced

24/05/2023

Further checks to ensure there is no fraud when people vote by post or by proxy could soon be introduced, according to the Government.

Council investigation reveals mother’s forgery

23/05/2023

A mother in Barnet has admitted in court to forging official documents to get her son into a popular secondary school.

How local authorities can fight payments fraud

02/03/2023

Ilija Ugrinic of software solutions provider Proactis looks at how councils can fight payments fraud.

Tenant jailed for £200,000 housing fraud

14/02/2023

A tenant who lived in council housing in Dudley while renting out a flat she owned has been jailed for 32 months.

Why the cost-of-living crisis makes fraud prevention even more important

30/09/2022

Barley Laing, the UK managing director at Melissa, argues that overstretched councils need to do more to ensure they protect their budgets from fraudsters.

Council joins forces with Airbnb to tackle housing fraud

23/08/2022

A court order has cleared the way for Kensington and Chelsea Council and Airbnb to work together to tackle social housing tenancy fraud.

Council defrauded of nearly £240,000 due to failure of financial checks

17/08/2022

Poor governance and financial management left Maesteg Town Council vulnerable to a fraud that cost nearly a quarter of a million pounds, auditors say.

Council employee steals £161,000 from two parish councils

04/07/2022

A woman has been sentenced to four years’ imprisonment after pleading guilty to defrauding two parish councils in Oxfordshire.

Hoax calls: How local authorities can protect themselves

18/05/2022

Mike Wills discusses how local authorities can protect themselves against attacks designed to trick, embarrass, steal and defraud.

MPs warn of ‘eye-watering’ levels of fraud in COVID scheme

27/04/2022

The Government is ‘complacent’ about preventing ‘eye-watering’ levels of fraud in the COVID Bounceback Loan Scheme (CBLS), new report by the PAC concludes.

Council chiefs warn of energy rebate scam

19/04/2022

Local authority leaders are warning residents about a new scam where cold callers pretend to be helping people claim the Government’s £150 energy rebate.

One in 10 people falsely claim council tax discounts

24/02/2022

One in 10 people know someone dishonestly claiming a discount on their council tax bill, the UK’s fraud prevention service has found.

Ex-councillor convicted for COVID loan fraud

20/12/2021

A former councillor and his wife have been convicted for trying to exploit COVID-19 business support grants.

Former council leader jailed for fraud

26/11/2021

The former leader of West Lindsey District Council has been jailed for 14 months for fraud and theft offences.

Council launches 'key amnesty' to tackle tenancy fraud

10/11/2021

A London council is running a 'key amnesty' to reclaim council housing that is being used illegally.

Former employees convicted of fraud against council

13/09/2021

Two women have been found guilty of creating a 'phantom' employee to defraud a council and a charity out of more than £40,000.

‘Shameless’ COVID fraudsters targeted 41 councils

11/08/2021

The actions of two companies that attempted to defraud dozens of councils out of COVID grants have been labelled ‘despicable’.

Queen's Speech: Controversial voter ID plans roll forward

11/05/2021

Voter ID is expected to be introduced by May 2023 after the Government pledged to introduce legislation to ‘ensure the integrity of elections’.

Woman jailed for defrauding London council

02/03/2021

A woman has been sentenced to 12-months’ imprisonment for defrauding the Royal Borough of Greenwich out of nearly £10,000.

Former councillor jailed for electoral fraud

21/01/2021

A former councillor has been jailed and ordered to pay Redbridge Council more than £28,000 after committing electoral fraud.

Why councils should embrace electronic ID verification

17/11/2020

Barley Laing argues that electronic ID verification is crucial as the pandemic drives digitalisation.

Millions more of fraud and overpayments detected in Wales

13/10/2020

An extra £2.7m in fraud and overpayments has been identified in Wales after several local authorities started comparing council tax single persons discount with the electoral register, a report has found.

Councils urged to 'raise their game' to tackle fraud

30/07/2020

Welsh councils have been urged to 'raise their game' when it come to tackling fraud by the Auditor General for Wales.

Scheme finds billions in benefit fraud

21/07/2020

A government scheme has detected nearly £2bn in benefit fraud and overpayments since it was set up, new figures show.

Councils issue warning over test and trace scams

22/06/2020

Councils have warned that criminals are trying to exploit the test and trace system by trying to convince people they must pay for the testing kit.

Councils get new advice to combat procurement fraud

09/06/2020

New advice to help councils in England fight procurement fraud has been published by the Government.

Councils warn about surge in virus-related scams

11/05/2020

Council leaders have reported a 40% increase in reported scams since the start of the coronavirus crisis.

Council staff warn fraud is a major risk for local government

31/03/2020

Two-thirds of local government professionals think fraud is a major risk for councils, a new survey has revealed.

Councillor found guilty of two counts of fraud

13/02/2020

A Greenwich councillor who applied for social housing despite owning three properties has been found guilty of fraud.

Prosecutions for Blue Badge fraud up by 18% in past year

05/12/2019

A third of councils in England do not have a policy in place to prosecute people for Blue Badge fraud, new figures have revealed today.

Councils detecting more cases of fraud

19/11/2019

Councils prevented 22% more cases of council tax fraud this year compared to 2017/18, new figures have revealed.

More places available at fighting fraud webinar

25/10/2019

Due to popular demand, the number of places available at this free webinar have been extended. Find out the five best ways to use data better to fight fraud.

Webinar: Five ways to use data better to fight fraud

23/10/2019

Register for the HooYu LocalGov webinar to protect the public purse.

Housing fraud costs councils £16m each year

10/09/2019

People who claim to live alone in order to get a council tax discount cost the local government sector nearly £16m a year, a new study has found.

Review launched into Blue Badge fraud

17/06/2019

A new task force to help councils tackle the fraudulent use of Blue Badges has been set up by the Government.

Town clerk jailed for defrauding council

13/06/2019

An assistant town clerk has been jailed for four years for stealing more than £200,000 from Rugeley Town Council.

Welsh public sector could lose up to £1bn a year to fraud

11/06/2019

Welsh public services could lose up to £1bn a year to fraud, a new report has warned today.

Councils warn of new wave in council tax scams

10/06/2019

Criminals are posing as council staff to con people out of money, the Local Government Association (LGA) has warned.

Investigators warn councils of ‘chameleon fraudsters’

16/05/2019

Investigators have warned councils to be wary of fraudsters as report reveals one in eight disqualified company directors avoid detection and still have active directorships.

Figures show no evidence of 'large-scale electoral fraud'

25/03/2019

Campaigners have warned the case for voter ID is getting ‘weaker by the day’ after new figures show there were only eight allegations of personation fraud last year.

How technology could help detect social care fraud

12/03/2019

Julian Pilling explains how councils can better protect themselves against fraud committed by carers.

Superhead ordered to repay council over £1m stolen from his school

22/02/2019

A superhead has been ordered to pay back Brent Council £1.4m he received in illegal bonuses while he was head of a school in Wembley.

Rochdale council worker jailed for £80,000 fraud

07/02/2019

A council worker has been jailed for defrauding Rochdale Borough Council of £80,000 - money that was then spent on prostitutes and cocaine.

Council worker jailed for £1m pension fund theft

28/01/2019

A man who defrauded the pension fund of Westminster City Council of over £1m has been jailed for seven years.

Benefit assessors convicted of £1m housing benefit fraud

18/01/2019

Seven benefit assessors in London have been convicted of a housing benefit fraud worth over £1m.

Newham to improve financial management after £9m fraud allegations

16/01/2019

The Mayor of Newham has announced plans to set up a commission to advise the council on how to ‘become a beacon of good practice’ in its financial management.

Council chiefs warn of scams targeting the vulnerable

16/01/2019

Local authority leaders have called on carers and families to be aware of fraud targeting older and more vulnerable people.

Council calls ‘extraordinary meeting’ over £9m fraud allegations

08/01/2019

Newham Council has called an ‘extraordinary meeting’ to look into allegations of fraud concerning the local authority’s repairs and maintenance service (RMS).

Top 100: Our most popular local government stories of 2018

11/12/2018

From council pay rises to troubled outsourcing firms, here is our countdown of the 100 most popular stories on LocalGov during 2018.

Blue Badge theft up by 45% in past year

30/11/2018

Councils have warned that Blue Badge theft in England has increased by 45% in the past 12 months.

Council employee convicted of £1m pension fund fraud

16/10/2018

A former Westminster City Council employee has been convicted for defrauding the council pension fund of nearly £1m.

Councils found more than £300m in fraud in past year

16/10/2018

Local authorities managed to prevent or detect £302m in fraud in 2017/18, according to the latest figures from finance experts.

Councils cheated out of £1m by housing benefit assessors

03/10/2018

Lambeth, Kingston, and Barking and Dagenham councils were cheated out of £1m by a group of housing benefit assessors who used dummy claimants, court has heard.

Has outsourcing had its day?

28/09/2018

The conviction for fraud of a former Barnet council employee was a poor advertisement for outsourcing. Mark Whitehead considers whether it has run its course.

Review finds 'insufficient financial controls' enabled £2m council fraud

24/09/2018

The conviction for fraud of a former employee of a joint venture set up by Barnet council is a 'textbook example of why outsourcing fails', according to Labour.

Not enough evidence to prosecute in Tower Hamlets fraud case, Met says

10/09/2018

An investigation into allegations of fraud in Tower Hamlets has concluded that there is not enough evidence to prosecute those involved, although evidence of a ‘serious criminal offence’ has been uncovered.

Councils and the rise of covert profiles

06/09/2018

Mark Whitehead explains why councils are right to use fake Facebook profiles to track down illegal activities.

Council worker charged with Grenfell Tower fraud

30/08/2018

A council worker has been accused of stealing money intended for those affected by the Grenfell Tower fire.

Postal voting pilots ‘well-run’, electoral commission says

01/08/2018

Pilot schemes for postal and proxy voters carried out during last May’s local elections were ‘well-run’, an electoral body has concluded.

Five people sentenced for £200k council fraud

30/07/2018

Five men who defrauded a Leicestershire council out of more than £200,000 through an email scam have been sentenced.

Councils sue Barclays over controversial LOBO loans

16/07/2018

Barclays are being sued by 14 local authorities over allegations it committed fraud over loans to councils.

Voter ID in perspective

06/07/2018

Jo Miller, in her role as a returning officer, argues that Voter ID is a very expensive way to tackle a problem that is not a top priority in the UK.

Mandatory ID ‘disenfranchises’ voters, electoral watchdog says

25/05/2018

Electoral watchdogs have rejected a claim that a recent trial requiring voters to show ID was 'a great success'.

Whitehall defends voter ID reform against accusations of ‘discrimination’

23/04/2018

The Government has defended its plans to require voters to produce ID when voting after watchdog warned reform may discriminate against ethnic minorities.

Council employee exploited systems ‘failures’ to steal £1m

22/03/2018

Failures in ‘fundamental controls’ within Dundee City Council’s financial systems allowed a former employee to steal £1m from the authority, auditors conclude.

Cuts to trading standards putting older people at risk of fraud, warns charity

09/03/2018

Cuts to trading standards services are leaving millions of older people at risk of fraud, according to Age UK.

Dismissed council employee pleads guilty to fraud

08/03/2018

A former civil enforcement supervisor at Reading council has been issued a 17-week suspended jail sentence after admitting to fraud.

Voter ID trials are ‘unnecessary and over-bearing’ say campaigners

02/03/2018

The Government has been urged to reconsider its ID voting trials by campaigners due to the ‘tiny’ amount of electoral fraud.

Seven council staff arrested in fraud probe

16/02/2018

Seven members of staff at Cardiff Council have been arrested on suspicion of fraud, the council has confirmed.

The extent of business rates relief fraud

16/02/2018

It is estimated that there could be over £25m worth of fraud being perpetuated by businesses falsely claiming Small Business Rates Relief across England.

Fraudster jailed for stealing identity to get council job

20/10/2017

A fraudster who used another man’s identity to gain a council job and home as well as thousands in benefits has been jailed, a London council has reported.

Counter-fraud pilot successful

18/10/2017

Councils are encouraged to sign up to a joint counter-fraud initiative with Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) investigators after a ‘successful pilot stage’.

Eight out of ten people think elections are well run

11/10/2017

Eight out of ten people believe elections are well run and free from fraud, according to research by the Electoral Commission.

Liverpool chief exec suspended over fraud allegations

20/09/2017

Liverpool CC’s chief exec Ged Fitzgerald has been suspended while police investigate alleged financial irregularities during his time at Lancashire council.

Council leader cleared of ‘spurious’ corruption allegations

11/09/2017

A police investigation into allegations of corruption against the leader of North Lanarkshire Council has been dropped.

Police to guard all polling stations in Tower Hamlets to tackle voter intimidation

07/06/2017

Police will be present at every polling station in Tower hamlets in a bid to tackle electoral fraud and voter intimidation.

Liverpool council chief arrested over alleged financial irregularities probe

23/05/2017

Four men including Liverpool City Council chief executive Ged Fitzgerald have been arrested as part of an investigation into alleged financial irregularities in the tendering of council contracts to BT.

Report shows rise in fraud related to voting offences

24/03/2017

There were 260 reported cases of electoral fraud last year, according to a new report from the Electoral Commission.

'Major failures' found in Tower Hamlets fraud investigation

10/03/2017

Members of the London Assembly have accused the police of ‘major failings’ in their investigation of electoral fraud in Tower Hamlets.

Fraudulant bus director order to pay nearly £43k to council

16/02/2017

A former bus firm managing director has been ordered to repay £42,894 to a Welsh council for making false claims about concessionary fare passenger numbers.

Erroneous pension payments

31/01/2017

Karen Pritchard explains why deceased pension fraud is costing local government millions of pounds every year.

Sandwell council refers fraud allegations against councillors to police

19/01/2017

A West Midlands council has referred allegations of ‘potential collusion and fraudulent practice’ by two councillors to the police

Recovery of fraudulent benefit claims hits ‘record high’

09/12/2016

Recovery of benefits claimed fraudulently or paid out by mistake has hit a record high of £1bn, according to the Department for Work and Pensions.

Fighting welfare fraud in real time

08/12/2016

William Eichler finds out how the government's National Fraud Initiative is helping to stamp out and prevent fraud in local government.

Ex-council worker jailed for £1m fraud

15/11/2016

An ex-council employee has been jailed for seven and a half years after being found guilty of charging Lancashire County Council £1m in bogus building works.

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