PEOPLE who cheat the council tax system are being targeted in a new campaign by Ryedale District Council.

The authority is embarking on an exercise which will identify fraudulently claimed discount among council-tax payers. A third-party firm has been appointed which will cross reference household data through credit reference checks.

Each year, local authorities nationwide receive a high volume of applications for single occupier discount, however, some of these applications are not genuine.

In Ryedale, all cases where a mismatch is shown will be reviewed. Some fraud may be unintentional and each case will be considered on its own merits.

New legislation has also been introduced which will allow council tax cheats to be prosecuted in the same way as benefit cheat.

Alan McCarten, senior revenues officer for the council, said: “We will write to residents over the next few weeks who are claiming single person discount to determine whether they are, in fact, entitled to do so.”

Phone the council’s revenues services on 01653 600666, or email