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Housing Benefit fraud costs all taxpayers. It is a criminal offence and reduces the money available to help those who need it.

Make sure you don’t commit fraud

Remember, if you are receiving help with your rent (Housing Benefit)  and/or with your Council Tax, it is your responsibility to notify us immediately of any change in your circumstances. You must tell us within 21 days of the change to make sure you do not commit fraud.

  1. tell us about changes to your Housing Benefit
  2. email benefits@eastdevon.gov.uk
  3. Call 01395 517446
  4. Visit the offices Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 5pm
    Exmouth Town Hall and Knowle, Sidmouth

 Some typical examples of Housing Benefit fraud are:

  • people who are working but do not declare this when they claim benefit
  • people who claim as a single person, but actually live with a partner
  • people who claim from an address but do not actually live there
  • people who do not tell us the full amount of income, savings, pensions or capital when they claim benefit
  • people who do not declare other adults living in the property
  • people who deliberately and dishonestly do not tell us about a change in their circumstances which would reduce their benefit 

You can report suspected Housing Benefit fraud in three ways:

  • By telephone: contact the National Benefit Fraud Hotline on 0800 854 440. Your call is free and confidential you do not have to give your name or address. Lines are open Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm.    

 If you have speech or hearing problems you can use a text phone service on 0800 328 0512 or Welsh speakers can call on 0800 678 3722.

 Some typical examples of Housing Benefit fraud are:

  • people who are working but do not declare this when they claim benefit
  • people who claim as a single person, but actually live with a partner
  • people who claim from an address but do not actually live there
  • people who do not tell us the full amount of income, savings, pensions or capital when they claim benefit
  • landlords who continue to get benefit paid directly to them after the claimant has left
  • people who do not declare other adults living in the property
  • people who deliberately and dishonestly do not tell us about a change in their circumstances which would reduce their benefit

The Single Fraud Investigation Service (SFIS) is responsible for investigating fraud. It is part of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
It investigates and prosecutes Social Security welfare benefits fraud (including Housing Benefit but not Council Tax Support) and Tax Credit fraud across local authorities, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) and the Department of Works and Pensions (DWP). 

Victim of fraud or cyber-crime?

If you have been the victim of fraud or cyber-crime report it to www.actionfraud.police.uk/