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Be tough on fraud

West Dunbartonshire Council is committed to develop an anti-fraud culture among its employees and the public. The Council will seek to ensure that fraud is prevented wherever possible and where detected, it will be thoroughly investigated, overpayments recovered, and consideration given to all civil and criminal disposal options.

How to report fraud

The Council has a dedicated fraud team trained to investigate fraudulent claims in the areas of Tenancy, Procurement, Council Tax Reduction, Scottish Welfare Fund, Social Care, Employee, Insurance, Council Tax exemptions & discounts and Blue Badges.

If you think someone has committed fraud you can contact us now via: 

Fraud referral form

The more information that you can provide the better our investigation will be. 

Any information that you give will be treated in the strictest of confidence and you do not need to tell us your name. 

How can fraud be detected? 

There are a range of methods used to prevent and detect fraud used by West Dunbartonshire Council, such as: 

  • Matching its records against those held by the Department for Work and Pensions and other government agencies.
  • Cross matching internal data.
  • Information can be obtained from employers and credit reference agencies
  • Evidence can be gathered through other official sources. 

Although there are various means of detecting fraud one of the most useful sources of information comes from local knowledge and receiving information from the public.

Report Benefit Fraud

If you would like to report benefit fraud, you can on our benefit fraud page.

Work of Corporate Fraud Team during 2017/18

Savings

In 2017/2018, West Dunbartonshire Council’s Corporate Fraud Team received 228 referrals, of which 199 were progressed as investigations.  As a result of these investigations, we have identified £296,483 in benefit that has been either been fraudulently obtained or claimed in error. 

Preventative work

We identified £7,754 of fraudulent claims made to the Scottish Welfare Fund. This money comes from a dedicated fund to provide assistance for citizens in hardship and should only go to those people who have genuine need.

We have also recovered three Council houses from individuals not occupying these properties as their principal home and thereby preventing these properties from being offered to families in genuine need.

In terms of preventing inappropriate use, the work of the Corporate Fraud team has resulted in 122 Blue Badges being cancelled and removed them from continuing use.  Similarly, the Corporate Fraud team has identified instances of Council Tax Single Person’s Discount which have either been fraudulently obtained or claimed in error.  These claims have now been ended.

In addition to actual savings achieved investigation work has prevented £734,118 of fraud going forward in notional savings using a formula provided by Audit Scotland.  Such preventative work is a key aspect of the work of the Corporate Fraud team.

Prosecutions and Administrative Penalties

In addition to recovering the money fraudulently obtained or claimed in error, as detailed above, the Corporate Fraud team has also taken further action by reporting 15 cases to the Procurator Fiscal and issuing six Administrative penalties totalling £7,533.  This is similar to a fine and is used for less serious cases which are not reported to the Procurator Fiscal.