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 because:
- You've failed to tell us you're working
- You've failed to declare other benefits or occupational pensions
- You're claiming benefit for addresses you don't live at
- You're claiming benefit for houses you own
- You've failed to tell us you own other properties or land
- You've failed to tell us of savings and bank accounts you have
- You've failed to tell us about partners or other people living in your home
- You're claiming benefits when living abroad
Report benefit fraud
You can help us to fight fraud by reporting your concerns or suspicions to us using our online form.
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 have submitted a report, we will 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.
The more information that we are given the better as this will make the evaluation more comprehensive and the more likely a successful outcome will be.
We're not able to comment on ongoing investigations due to Data Protection. If you report a suspected fraud, we will not be able to update you on how an investigation is proceeding.
What can happen if you're found out?
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 to 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.