In 2022/2023, West Dunbartonshire Council Corporate Fraud received 162 referrals, of which 158 were progressed as investigations. These referrals come from a variety of sources including members of the public, other Government agencies or via the National Fraud Initiative. As a result of these investigations, we have identified £223,644 in Housing and Council Tax benefits that has either been fraudulently obtained or claimed in error.
We also identified £6,095 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.
£5,250 was also identified in a fraudulent Covid-19 grant.
Working jointly with Housing we have recovered five 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.
Corporate Fraud has identified instances of Council Tax Single Person’s Discount which have either been fraudulently obtained or claimed in error amounting to £20,700 the relevant claims of which have now been ended.
In addition to actual savings achieved, investigation work has prevented £482,681 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 Corporate Fraud.
In addition to recovering the money fraudulently obtained or claimed in error, as detailed above, Corporate Fraud has also taken further action by reporting 1 case to the Procurator Fiscal.