A COUNCIL has referred almost 100 cases of benefit fraud to the Department for Work and Pensions in the last year.

Rossendale council have discovered that a ‘small minority’ of people in the borough have been committing benefit and council tax fraud.

The council received 168 allegations of fraud from various sources such as anonymous referrals, the council’s online fraud referral form, and the housing benefit and council tax processing team, in the last year.

This led to 97 cases being referred to the Department for Work and Pensions, with 64 further requests for information made, meaning more than £124,000 in overpayments have been identified and requested.

Portfolio Holder for Resources, Councillor Andrew Walmsley, said: "This is obviously a very small minority of people who are committing fraud against the taxpayer, but we will take action against this as we have a duty to protect the public purse.

"As council tax payers in the borough fund services, any money lost to fraud means we have less money to spend on our services. We take this very seriously and we will investigate any breaches that we discover or are made aware of."

Anyone wanting to report fraud, whether it be about housing benefit, council tax support, single person discount, council tax exemptions or business rates can report it by ringing the council on 01706 252582 or reporting it via the website rossendale.gov.uk/info/210157/your_council/10575/report_fraud_test