Benefit fraud

Benefit fraud can start when a claim is made and you either provide made-up information or you fail to tell us all the information needed to assess your claim accurately.

It is a criminal offence for you to make false statements to get benefits that you would not otherwise be entitled to.

Fraud can also happen during the life of a benefit claim when you fail to tell us of a change in circumstances that may affect your entitlement to benefit.

Types of benefit fraud

Benefit fraud can be committed if you:

  • failed to tell us you're working
  • failed to declare other benefits or occupational pensions
  • are claiming benefit for addresses you do not live at
  • are claiming benefit for houses you own
  • failed to tell us you own other properties or land
  • failed to tell us of savings and bank accounts you have
  • failed to tell us about partners or other people living in your home
  • are claiming benefits when living abroad.

Report benefit fraud

You do not need to leave your details when completing the form. If you do want to leave your details, they will be kept in the strictest confidence.

Report suspected fraud

Once you've reported something to us, we'll pass all the relevant information to the Single Fraud Investigation Service at the Department for Work and Pensions. They will then evaluate it to determine whether investigation is appropriate.

We're not able to comment on ongoing investigations, and due to data protection law, we cannot give feedback on any reported allegations. So, if you report a suspected fraud, we will not be able to update you on how an investigation is proceeding.

If you commit benefit fraud

If you're suspected of benefit fraud you could:

  • have your benefits suspended
  • be interviewed under caution
  • be arrested and have your property searched by the police.

Where it's been proved that you've claimed benefits you're not entitled to we will always try and get the money back that's been overpaid. The Single Fraud Investigation Service will consider if any further action is appropriate.

Further action could include:

  • an administrative penalty
  • being denied current or future benefits
  • being prosecuted
  • or confiscation of property and assets under the Proceeds of Crime Act.