How to report fraud

Benefits and money advice

We are clamping down on illegal subletting! Don’t make the wrong move! We are introducing a tenancy checker that will enable you to quickly check an address to confirm if it is a council or social housing property, see our new tenancy check section for details.

What counts as fraud and how to report it

What is fraud? Click to get info

The Audit Commission defines fraud as:

an intentional misrepresentation, including failure to declare information or abuse of position that is carried out to make gain, cause loss or expose another to the risk of loss”.

We work to prevent and detect fraud that happens at the expense of the council, borough or wider community.

Examples of fraud include:

  • Housing fraud such as subletting a council property or submitting a fraudulent Right-to-Buy application
  • Not reporting a change of circumstances that affects the amount of benefit you get
  • Giving false information to get council services

Report fraud

Report benefit fraud Click to get info

Reports of benefit fraud are dealt with by the Department of Work and Pensions.

Report benefit fraud

You can help us stop fraud by telling us about anyone you suspect may be committing any kind of fraud.

Your referral is anonymous and any information you provide will stay confidential. We may need to work with other agencies to investigate and not all referrals lead to an investigation.

Report fraud to the council

You can also call, email or write to us using our contact details below.

When we receive a referral we’ll look at the information and decide whether or not to investigate further. Due to data protection Issues, we aren't able to give any information as to the progress of our enquiries.

Tenancy check Click to get info

Tenancy fraud costs councils approximately £900 million per year, with each unlawfully sublet council or social housing property having a cost to the Council of around £58,000.

The tenancy checking system will allow letting agents and prospective tenants to verify whether a property is owned by the local authority or registered social landlords.

This will help to protect tenants, who are at risk of from eviction even if they inadvertently sublet a council or social housing property. It will protect letting agents where previously they were at risk of inadvertently offering for rent a council or social housing property. It will also highlight any unlicensed properties within the borough being offered for rent.

To check a property, see the landlord tenancy checker website.

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This authority is required by law to protect the public funds it administers. It may share information provided to it with other bodies responsible for; auditing, or administering public funds, or where undertaking a public function, in order to prevent and detect fraud.

The Cabinet Office is responsible for carrying out data matching exercises.

Data matching involves comparing computer records held by one body against other computer records held by the same or another body to see how far they match. This is usually personal information. Computerised data matching allows potentially fraudulent claims and payments to be identified. Where a match is found it may indicate that there is an inconsistency which requires further investigation. No assumption can be made as to whether there is fraud, error or other explanation until an investigation is carried out.

We participate in the cabinet office’s national fraud Initiative: a data matching exercise to assist in the prevention and detection of fraud. We are required to provide particular sets of data to the Minister for the Cabinet Office for matching for each exercise, as detailed here.

The use of data by the Cabinet Office in a data matching exercise is carried out with statutory authority under Part 6 of the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014. It does not require the consent of the individuals concerned under the Data Protection Act 1998.

Data matching by the Cabinet Office is subject to a code of practice.

View further information on the Cabinet Office’s legal powers and the reasons why it matches particular information.

For further information on data matching at this authority contact Marc McAuley

Phone 020 8496 4487



Contact Click to get info

Anti-Fraud Team 

London Borough of Waltham Forest 
Room 209 
Town Hall 
Forest Road 

E17 4JA 

Phone: 020 8496 4299