Types Of Fraud In The UK
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Types Of Fraud In the UK

Fraud is one of the most serious dishonesty offences and is taken very seriously by the courts as it can lead to huge losses for the country in taxpayer money. The term ‘Fraud’ is one that covers a variety of crimes, some of which are deemed as more serious than others due to the circumstances surrounding them, and may be carried out by an individual or an organisation. If you’re unfamiliar with the laws surrounding fraud, it can be helpful to know more about how the types differentiate from each other and what exactly qualifies as fraud.

Benefit Fraud

Benefit fraud is one of the more common types of fraud in the UK but also one of the more complex because of the circumstances surrounding it. The actual crime of benefit fraud involves providing false information or omitting information about your circumstances whilst claiming any of the following benefits:

• Housing benefits;

• Disability allowance;

• Carer’s allowance;

• Job Seeker’s Allowance;

Conversely, an individual may become a victim of benefit fraud through identity theft. For example, if you receive notification that you are claiming benefits or have been denied housing benefit despite having successfully received these benefits before then you may be a victim of benefit fraud.

Because of the length and complexities of the application process for benefits, benefit fraud can occur entirely by accident and isn’t always malicious. In many cases it comes down to an error either on the part of the applicant of the Department of Work and Pension, so it’s vital to determine these circumstances as soon as possible with experienced benefit fraud solicitors in the North East, benefit fraud solicitors in the South East or wherever you are located.

Tax Fraud

Tax fraud involves the theft of taxes owed to the HMRC as well as any tax credits paid out by HMRC. Tax evasion falls under this category, where an individual or organisation avoids paying the correct amount of tax. This is done by failing to declare income or by deliberately falsifying expenses. We’re all familiar with the government expenses row and there are often news stories about organisations avoiding taxes through offshore banking, and such offences are liable for a Prosecution action due to the losses incurred to the government.

There are other types of dishonest offences that come under Tax Fraud, including VAT Fraud and Duty Fraud, which involves failing to pay when VAT is charged on a product or smuggling goods into the country that are liable to excise duty or customs duty.

Mortgage Fraud

Mortgage fraud is when a loan is obtained by providing false information and material misrepresentation. The offence also covers the involvement of professionals and individuals in transferring the money in those involved were aware of the deception. Mortgage fraud includes:

• Over-valuing of property;

• Overstating income;

• Taking out a mortgage in the name of an unsuspecting or deceased person;

• Hijacking conveyancing processes.

These cases are taken very seriously and often lead to prosecution, with other professionals being subject to criminal proceedings including solicitors, mortgage brokers and accountants. As such, processing cases like this can be a lengthy process and requires expert advice from the outset to determine the best outcome.

The law is complex and this is only just beginning to scratch the surface of fraud as an offence. This information is provided on behalf of Stephen Lickrish & Associates, defence lawyers based in Manchester that also provide representation on a national level. They are an experienced and dedicated group of benefit fraud solicitors in the North West that can help you if you are accused of fraud of any kind.

You can also contact them for legal advice on crimes that do not fall under fraud, including:

• Sexual offences;

• Harassment;

• Terrorism;

• Money Laundering

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