Benefit fraud can start when a claim is made and you either provide made-up information or you fail to tell us all of the information required to assess your claim accurately.
It is a criminal offence for you to make false statements in order 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 don't 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 don't 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.
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, who will then evaluate it to determine whether investigation is appropriate.
We're not able to comment on on-going investigations and due to Data Protection we are unable to 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 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 and the Single Fraud Investigation Service will consider whether 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.