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Cardiff Council


​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The Corporate Fraud Investigation Team consists of professionally trained investigators who conduct civil and criminal investigations relating to the prevention and detection of crime, apprehension and prosecution of offenders, and the recovery of the proceeds of crime. 

Fraud prevention and detection

​Cardiff Council is required by law to protect the public funds it administers. Our reputation is underpinned by ethical behaviour, financial probity and honesty. Any cases of fraud, bribery, corruption or other dishonesty could adversely affect the Council's reputation and put its ability to achieve its policies and objectives at risk. 

With criminals increasingly seeking to exploit any weakness across the public sector, especially during times of adversity, our focus is to remain vigilant and responsive to fraud risks.

Data Matching

There are a number of activities in place to identify fraud risk through data analysis and data matching. We may share information provided to us with other bodies responsible for auditing or administering public funds, in order to prevent and detect fraud.

The Auditor General requires the Council to participate in the National Fraud Initiative (NFI) data matching exercise. As the use of data by the Auditor General in a data matching exercise is carried out with statutory authority (Part 3A of the Public Audit (Wales) Act 2004), it does not require the consent of the individuals concerned under the Data Protection Act 2018.

The NFI matches data across organisations and systems to help public bodies identify fraud and overpayments. Since it began in 1996, NFI exercises have resulted in the detection and prevention of more than £35.4 million of fraud and overpayments in Wales, and £1.69 billion across the UK. 

More information can be found on the Audit Wales website.  

Privacy Notice

For further information on the Auditor General's legal powers, view Audit Wales' Privacy Notice or contact:

​Data Protection Officer
Information Governance Team
County Hall
Atlantic Wharf
CF10 4UW


View Cardiff Council's Privacy Notice

Corporate Criminal Offence (CCO)

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) introduced a suite of measures as part of the Criminal Finances Act 2017 to combat financial crime. The Corporate Criminal Offence is a piece of legislation brought in through the Act aimed at tackling tax evaders, enablers, and those who fail to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion.

Concerns relating to failure within Cardiff Council to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion should be directed to: 

Money Laundering Reporting Officer
Cardiff Council
County Hall
Atlantic Wharf
CF10 4UW


Money Laundering

Money laundering is the process where criminal proceeds are cleansed to disguise their illicit origins. The National Crime Agency reports that money laundering costs the UK more than £100 billion pounds a year. Criminals will attempt to distance themselves from their crimes by finding safe havens for their profits, where they can avoid confiscation orders, and where those proceeds can be made to appear legitimate.​

Cardiff Council has put in place appropriate and proportionate anti-money laundering safeguards and reporting arrangements.

Concerns relating to Money Laundering should be directed to:

​Money Laundering Reporting Officer
Cardiff Council
County Hall
Atlantic Wharf
CF10 4UW


Scams and Cyber Crime

Action Fraud is the UK's national reporting centre for fraud and cyber crime.

Cyber criminals use fake messages as bait to lure you into clicking on the links within their scam email or text message, or to give away sensitive information (such as bank details). These messages may look like the real thing but are malicious. Once clicked, you may be sent to an unsafe website which could download viruses onto your computer or steal your passwords.

If you think you may have been the victim of fraud or cyber crime and had a financial loss, or have been hacked as a result of responding to a phishing message, you should report this to Action Fraud.

The National Trading Standards Scams Team helps tackle mass marketing scams and disrupts the operations of perpetrators behind mail scams. It works in partnership with agencies across the country to identify and support victims of mass marketing fraud.  ​

Find out more about scams.

Blue Badge

Misuse of a genuine permit, or the use of a counterfeit permit in order to park in a controlled space or avoiding paying parking charges. A badge issued to a deceased person is classified as fraudulent, even if it is not being used for fraudulent purposes. 

Bribery or Corruption

Acceptance of money or gifts, favouring contractors or price fixing. Council staff or Councillors taking advantage of their position. 

Business Rates

Non-domestic rates may include fraudulent applications for exemptions and reliefs and unlisted properties being used for business purposes. 

Council Tax Liability or Support

Where the council tax payer fails to declare their circumstances correctly. For example, a person claims to be the only adult resident to be eligible for a discount when in fact other adults reside in the property. Claims for exemptions the council tax payer is not entitled to. 


When an employee abuses their position (corrupt preferential treatment, kickbacks, cronyism, theft or embezzlement) or submits false or exaggerated claims. 


False application or payment of grants or financial support to any person and any type of agency, organisation or charity. 


Providing false information on a tenancy application, tenancy assignment or tenancy succession claim. Sub-letting a Council property. A tenant no longer living in the Council property as their main home. 

Housing Benefit

A claimant failing to declare their circumstances correctly.​ 


Any insurance claim that is proved to be false, made against the organisation or the organisation's insurers.​​


Action Fraud defines mandate fraud as “when someone gets you to change a direct debit, standing order or bank transfer mandate, by purporting to be (trying to appear as) an organisation you make regular payments to, for example a subscription or membership organisation or your business supplier". 

No Recourse to Public Funds

If a person has no recourse to public funds, it means they have been restricted from accessing certain public funds and social housing. A person who claims public funds despite such a condition is committing a criminal offence. 

Organised Crime

Planned, co-ordinated and conducted by people working together on a continuing basis. Their motivation is usually financial gain. Organised Crime has a corrosive effect on our public services, affects more citizens than any other national security threat, and is increasing in volume and complexity. 

Payroll and Expenses 

Covers a wide range of areas such as ghost employees on the payroll, diversion of payments into fraudulent accounts, employees set up to receive higher salaries than they are entitled to by either grade or hours worked, false or exaggerated overtime or expenses claims. 


The procurement of goods and services often accounts for a significant proportion of an organisation's expenditure and is open to a wide range of potential fraud risks.

This includes any fraud associated with the false procurement of goods and services for an organisation by an internal or external person(s) or organisation(s) in the 'purchase to pay' or post contract procedure, including contract monitoring. 


Applicants providing false CVs, job histories, qualifications, references, immigration status (i.e., the right to work in the UK) or the use of a false identity to hide criminal convictions or immigration status. 

Social Care

Payments not being used to pay for the care of the vulnerable person. Care workers claiming money for time they had not worked or were spending the allocated budget inappropriately. Failing to declare savings or capital assets. Financial support continuing after the vulnerable person has passed away or is out of the UK. 

Welfare Assistance and Discretionary Payments

Cardiff Council has a limited amount of money available for welfare assistance claims. Awards are discretionary and may come as either a crisis payment or some form of support payment. ​

The following information is a basic guide and is not a substitute for legal advice. Where appropriate, you should seek your own independent legal advice if you are invited to an intervie​w under caution.

Interviews under caution

​There is no express legal requirement that a person suspected of having committed an offence must be interviewed under caution before any decision as to whether to prosecute is taken. However, we do have a duty to allow a suspect the opportunity to answer the allegations against them and give their own account before a decision to prosecute is made.  

Why have I been asked to attend an interview under caution?

​If you have been asked to attend an interview under caution it will be because we believe there are grounds to suspect that you have committed a criminal offence. This does not mean that we believe you are guilty and will automatically prosecute you. It means that the evidence we have obtained to date indicates that you may have committed an offence. 

The interview will give you the opportunity to provide an explanation of the events. However, if we find any evidence during the interview that you have committed an offence, you may be prosecuted. 

Can I speak to someone about the letter that I have received from the Council?

​The letter that you have received will provide the contact details of the Investigator. An officer will arrange the interview with you and will book an interpreter if this is needed. The interpreter can explain the process that will be followed but cannot discuss the specifics of the investigation with you. 

Do I have to attend an interview? 

No, but if you do not attend it will not prevent us from taking further action, such as prosecuting you. 

If you do not attend the interview, we will consider the evidence we have and make a decision on further action without the benefit of your own account. 

Who can come to the interview with me?

You can appoint a solicitor or legal advisor yourself or your local Citizens Advice Bureau may be able to help you to do this.

You may bring with you someone who is not connected to the investigation, such as a friend, social worker or a relative.

If the person attending the interview with you is not a solicitor or qualified legal advisor, they are with you for moral support only and will not be able to speak, answer questions for you or provide you with advice.

If you have a severe hearing impairment or if English is not your first language (and you have difficulty in understanding and answering in English), we will arrange for an interpreter to be present - please advise us of your requirements.

We do not have childcare facilities and will not interview you if you have a dependent child with you at the time of the interview.

Who will interview me?

One or two officers will usually interview you. These officers are trained to carry out interviews under caution.

Sometimes we carry out joint investigations with other agencies, such as the Department for Work and Pensions. If there has been a joint investigation in your case, you may be interviewed by an officer from the Council and an officer from the other agency.

What happens at the interview?

Before any questions are asked, the following will be explained:

  • the interview is being audio recorded
  • the interview is being conducted in accordance with the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 and the relevant Codes of Practice
  • you can consult the Codes of Practice
  • you will be cautioned and advised of your rights (that you are not under arrest, that you are free to leave the interview at any time and that you may seek legal advice at any time)
  • why you have been asked to attend the interview and details of the offence under investigation

At the end of the interview, you will be asked to sign an adhesive paper seal, which will be used to seal one of the recording media.

What happens next?

If new information has emerged during the interview, we may need to make further enquiries. Once this has been completed, we will review our investigation and may need to interview you again. If this is the case, we will write to you to tell you what else needs to be done.

When will I know what action will be taken?

This depends on the nature of the case, but we will usually write to you within two months of the interview to tell you our decision. If the decision is likely to take longer than two months, we will write to tell you this and when it is likely that a decision will be made.

What actions can the council take?

Where we believe that there is no evidence of an offence having been committed (or even though there is evidence, we do not feel that it is in the public interest to take further action) we will write to you and tell you that we will not be taking any formal action against you. This does not stop us from recovering any overpayments that may have been made to you.

Where we believe there is sufficient evidence to prosecute, we will consider (in accordance with the Council's Sanction Procedure) what further action will be taken.

The options are as follows:

Simple Caution

This is a formal warning that may be given to persons aged 18 or over who admit to committing an offence. This is designed to provide a means of dealing with low-level, mainly first-time offending, without a prosecution.  

In addition, a simple caution may only be given if there appears to be sufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction if the offender were to be prosecuted.

Simple cautions form part of the offender's criminal record. They may be referred to in future legal proceedings and may be revealed as part of a criminal record check.

Financial Penalty

As an alternative to prosecution, we may offer a penalty. This will be 50% of the amount of the excess reduction of Council Tax Support which has been overpaid, subject to:

  • a minimum amount of £100, and
  • a maximum amount of £1000.

If the penalty is accepted, and an agreement for repayment is made, no further action will be taken relating to this offence.

Simple cautions and financial penalties are alternatives to prosecution. If you are offered one of these alternatives and refuse it, we retain the right to prosecute you.


Criminal proceedings may be brought against offenders and the case heard in Court when there appears to be sufficient evidence of a criminal offence, and when it is in the public interest to prosecute.

​​​​ ​

How to report fraud

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) investigates housing benefit fraud. ​​​​​​

If your report is about housing benefit or state benefits you should report it to the DWP. 

If you suspect someone is defrauding the council, please report this to us.​

Please provide as much detail as you can including:

  • the name and address of the person you suspect,
  • details of the fraud,
  • how long this has been going on, and
  • who else may be involved. 

Cardiff Council will accept anonymous referrals. You are welcome to leave your contact details, however​​​  ​
bear in mind these might be disclosed if the law requires it.

Report fraud​ ​​

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