Reporting fraudulent activity at the council

Counter fraud unit

The council is required by law to protect the public funds it administers and to prevent and detect fraud in all areas of the council’s work. 

The council employs dedicated counter fraud officers to investigate allegations of fraud and abuse and to assist in maximising revenue and loss avoidance.

The counter fraud unit provides a specialist service to assess referrals of both internal and external fraud allegations. This can include abuse and misconduct by staff or councillors as well as external attempts by the general public; such as housing and tenancy fraud, council tax support and discount fraud, misuse of grant funding and other financial loss to the authority.

In addition to the counter fraud unit, there are other officers employed within the council who are charged with enforcement relating to environmental crime such as fly tipping and breaches of planning regulations. The unit also supports officers in the council’s revenues, benefits and housing support service.

Report suspected fraud

To report any allegations of fraud or misuse of public funds, for example claiming false council tax discounts, business rates avoidance, benefit fraud, false housing applications, the subletting of a social housing property or any application for financial assistance, please use the links below:

  • Fill in the report suspected fraud form and email it to the fraud team
  • Phone 01285 623400 or 01242 264215 or
  • Write to: Counter Fraud Unit, Cheltenham Borough Council, Municipal Offices, Promenade, Cheltenham, GL50 9SA. Please use this address for all matters relating to Cotswold, West Oxfordshire, Forest of Dean, Cheltenham and Tewkesbury areas.

All reports will be investigated and any information provided will be treated as strictly confidential.

Report internal fraud

If you work for one of the councils and need to report employees, councillors or contractors/agency staff, please:

Please note: if staff make a malicious report there may be disciplinary action, and they can only be protected if the report author is identified.

Contact other council enforcement staff

Organisation Revenues and benefits Housing Public protection
Cotswold District Council 01285 623762 01285 623300 01285 623000
Cheltenham Borough Council
Cheltenham Borough Homes
01242 264341 Report tenancy fraud 01242 264135
West Oxfordshire District Council 01993 861234 01993 709087 01993 861000
Forest Of Dean District Council 0800 854440 01594 810000 01594 810000
Tewkesbury Borough Council 01684 272135 01684 272212 01684 272191

Counter fraud policies

Counter fraud data

Visit our open data pages for the data about our counter fraud work which is published annually.

Data matching and National Fraud Initiative (NFI)

Data matching

The counter fraud unit carries out data matching exercises to help prevent and detect fraud and ensure the council is providing efficient and cost effective services to the public. 

Data matching involves comparing computer records held by one body or council department against other computer records held by the same organisation or another body to either confirm records or identify inconsistencies. The data matched may contain personal information. 

National Fraud Initiative

We participate in the Cabinet Office’s National Fraud Initiative, which is a data matching exercise to help prevent and detect fraud nationwide. Please:

The use of data by the Cabinet Office in a data matching exercise is carried out with statutory authority under Part 6 of the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014. It does not require the consent of the individuals concerned as per data protection legislation. For details of the code of practice for the data matching and the Cabinet Office's legal powers, please view:

In addition the council may also conduct its own matching of records within the council and with partners for prevention and detection of fraud and the assessment and collection of taxes and debts.