Benefit fraud cost the Department for Work and Pensions £2.1 billion from 2016 to 2017. The amount of money lost to benefit fraud is rising. Help the government to recover this lost money which could go towards funding public services by finding the people who falsely claim benefits. Find out more about how you can report benefit fraud and what it is by reading this page. If you have had a report made against you, contact Citizens Advice for help with what you need to do.
What Is Benefit Fraud?
Committing benefit fraud involves claiming benefits your circumstances don’t entitle you to have. For example, purposely providing false information or failing to report a change in circumstances to continue receiving benefit payments. One of the most common types of benefit fraud is when people don’t report entering paid work. Another is when people claim to live alone when they actually have a partner who supports them financially. You can find out more about benefit fraud on the gov.uk website. Please don’t call the hotline for information about benefit fraud. The phone number exists for members of the public to report benefit fraud suspects only.
When Do I Report It?
Up to 85% of benefit fraud allegations turn out to be false. Investigating a large number of false reports puts more strain on government resources. For this reason, you should only call the hotline if you have sufficient evidence of benefit fraud. Malicious reporting wastes additional time and money, so do not intentionally make a false benefit fraud allegation. To report benefit fraud, you will need to have enough knowledge of the person’s circumstances to confirm they are in receipt of benefits they aren’t eligible for. If you know that someone receives benefits but they are obviously living above those means, you can report them for this suspicious activity.
What Happens Next?
The DWP or HMRC will contact the benefit fraud suspect to let them know about the allegation. Either Fraud Investigation Officers will visit the suspect, or they will have to attend an interview under caution. These formal interviews can become evidence if the suspect goes to court for benefit fraud. After gathering the facts, the Fraud Investigation Officers will decide whether to take further action or not. During an investigation, the person’s benefits may be withheld from them. In the event of a conviction, the benefit fraudster will have to pay back the money. Future benefit payments may stop, and if they go to court they may also have to pay a penalty fine.
National Benefit Fraud Hotline
Call the hotline to report any fraudulent benefit claims during the opening hours shown below.
Other Ways to Report Benefit Fraud
If you don’t want to speak on the phone, you can report benefit fraud online using this form. You can also report someone by post if you suspect them of claiming benefits they shouldn’t receive. Send your letters to either of the following addresses so that the DWP and HMRC can investigate.
|National Benefit Fraud Hotline
Mail Handling Site A
PO Box 224