Fraud Frequently Asked Questions

Coronavirus (COVID-19): change to service

On advice from the government regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19), we are able to offer some extra assistance to those who most need it.

See further information about changes to services.

Why do you sometimes not prosecute?

When we investigate of fraud there are a number of factors that come into consideration. Sometimes it would cost a lot more money to investigate than would be regained, but the biggest contributing factor is whether or not a criminal offence was committed.  In many cases whilst the overpayment was a large amount, the quality of evidence isn’t enough to prove a criminal offence.

If you can’t always prosecute, why should I tell you?

Whilst some investigations will not fit the criteria for prosecution, many investigations will lead to the recovery of overpaid benefit, which total many thousands of pounds each year. We have other penalties as alternatives to prosecution such as Cautions or Administrative Penalties (monetary fine). Ultimately the reduction in fraud allows taxpayers money to be used where it is most needed. 

What is Bournemouth Borough Council doing to combat fraud?

We have a number of anti-fraud policies, a programme of fraud awareness training and publicity to help promote the anti-fraud message within the Council. We also advertise prosecutions to act as a deterrent. 

How are you told about fraud/how can I tell you about fraud?

They’re received in many different formats and from varied sources. Some are received from other teams within the Council, other Local Authorities or from the Police and Department for Work and Pensions. We also match our information against that held by other Government Departments, such as HMRC. We still need your help in tackling fraud though, we can’t do it alone. Many are received from members of the public via the Fraud Referral Report Form or on line referral.