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11 November 2019 Written by 

Raising Awareness Of Fraud

Fraud costs the UK economy billions of pounds every year.

Hertsmere Borough Council is supporting International Fraud Awareness Week, which takes place between Sunday 17 and Saturday 23 November, to raise awareness of the type of fraud committed and the cost to local authorities.

The Shared Anti-Fraud Service (SAFS) works with councils and other partners across Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire to prevent and detect fraud against those organisations.

Councillor John Graham, Portfolio Holder for Finance, said: "As individuals we can all be victims of fraud, but organisations, including local councils, are also targeted by fraudsters and every pound of public money lost to fraud is a pound lost from public services.

"Individual incidents of fraud may seem minor, but every little bit takes money away from council services. We hope that raising awareness of the types of fraud and the cost to local tax payers, members of the public will report any concerns or suspicions that may have about fraud going on in their community."

What is the cost of fraud?
• The total loss to Council Tax discount fraud is estimated to be £133m per annum*
• Housing tenancy fraud causes losses to local councils of £845m per annum*
• 20% of blue badges are thought to be being misused, stolen or forged*
• Payroll fraud costs local government £154m per annum*
• Contract and Procurement Fraud costs more than £870m per annum*

In the first four years of the Shared Anti-Fraud Service over 4,000 allegations of fraud were reported and fraud in excess of £15.5m was identified across its partners including housing fraud, staff fraud, blue badge abuse, council tax fraud, housing benefit fraud, and insurance fraud. Many of these reports came from members of the public.

Cllr Graham added: "Please help us to protect your public money from fraud and report any suspicions."

To find out more about International Fraud Awareness Week visit www.fraudweek.com.

To find out more about fraud in Hertfordshire, the Shared Anti-Fraud Service or to report fraud visit: www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/services/business/consumer-advice/safs.aspx or call 0300 123 4033.

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