The pervasive risks of fraud will be highlighted during International Fraud Awareness Week and the council is supporting this awareness by reaffirming its commitment to combatting fraud across the borough.
Bromley Council has robust fraud management arrangements in place to protect taxpayers’ money, including steps seeking to uncover fake benefits claims, council tax discounts and social housing claims, for instance. The council has also prosecuted 26 cases of Blue Badge misuse between April and September, managing to recoup over £14,000 from these cases.
These arrangements were recently bolstered by the adoption of a counter fraud and corruption strategy at an Audit and Risk Management Committee. This new strategy seeks to further strengthen the council’s resilience to fraud by developing a proactive counter fraud plan that reinforces the strong zero tolerance approach, which has always been a priority in Bromley. This plan will also assess whether new technology can assist with fraud detection and ensure effective training is in place to help staff identify fraud risks.
Councillor Christopher Marlow Executive Councillor for Resources, Commissioning and Contract Management said: “While the council has always sought to combat fraud, it is right that we have taken further proactive steps recently to review our anti-fraud arrangements and ensure we are doing everything possible to protect taxpayers’ money. This week offers a great opportunity to highlight the significant risks that fraud poses, as we continue to work with government and partners to ensure criminals do not get away with such scams. I would also encourage residents to consider their own risks of fraud this week and look for any possible actions that might better protect you and your loved ones from its devastating effects.”
Warnings against a number of fraud schemes have emerged recently, including criminals inviting residents to apply for fraudulent energy bill support schemes or tax rebates.
Residents receiving these or any other suspicious calls or messages are encouraged to take five to stop fraud before parting with any money or information. Only criminals will try to rush or panic you in such situations, so take a moment to stop and think if the request could be fake. Anyone who believes they have fallen victim to fraud should contact their bank immediately and report it.
To find out about fraudulent activities discovered in the borough, sign up for Bromley’s trading standards alerts.
Any resident who suspects fraud against the council is encouraged to report this by calling 0800 169 9675 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For media enquiries, please contact James George, public affairs officer, on 020 8313 4565 or email email@example.com