Benefit fraud is committed by either:
- Intentionally not reporting a change in your circumstances
- Being dishonest in order to get benefits
Reporting a fraud
The Department for Work and Pensions is responsible for investigating all housing benefit fraud.
If you suspect some-one of benefit fraud you can:
The following advice is taken from the Department for Work and Pensions own website:
What happens if you’re suspected of fraud
- You’ll be contacted by the Department for Work and Pensions, HM Revenue and Customs, the Service and Personnel and Veterans Agency or your local authority if you’re suspected of fraud.
- You may be visited by Fraud Investigation Officers (FIOs) or asked to attend an interview to talk about your claim.
- Your benefit may be stopped while you’re investigated. You’ll get a letter telling you about this if it happens.
- FIOs will gather facts about your case and decide whether to take further action.
What happens after a benefit fraud investigation
If there’s evidence you’ve committed fraud, you’ll be told to pay back the overpaid money. One or more of the following may also happen:
- you may be taken to court or asked to pay a penalty (between £350 and £5,000)
- your benefits may be reduced or stopped
Being found guilty of fraud is a criminal offence and every fraud committed results in a loss from the public purse.