Benefits fraud

Every year hundreds of people are prosecuted for benefits fraud. This is because it is estimated that £700 million is claimed and spent every year by benefits thieves. This is money that could have been spent on more local services including nurses, doctors, teachers, road improvements and more.

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What is fraud?

Common types of benefit fraud are:

  • Not declaring savings/capital (including ownership of property)
  • Living with a partner whilst claiming to be alone
  • A married couple claims one partner has left, but they have not
  • Not reporting a change in earnings or income, no matter how small
  • Not telling us about other adults living at the property
  • Not living at a property, but claiming housing benefit there
  • Not telling us you have moved
  • Not telling us you are closely related to your landlord.
  • Overstating the rent.
  • A landlord making up false tenants
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Who investigates benefits fraud?

Housing benefit fraud is investigated by the Department for Work & Pensions. 

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How to report fraud to the DWP

If you suspect someone may be committing benefit fraud, please report it. You can report a suspected fraud in three ways:

By phone or text phone: Contact the National Benefit Fraud Hotline on 0800 854 440.  Your call is free and confidential, you do not have to give your name or address. Lines are open Monday to Friday 8.00am to 6.00pm.

If you have speech or hearing problems you can use a text phone service on 0800 328 0512 or Welsh speakers can call on 0800 678 3722.

Online: www.gov.uk/report-benefit-fraud

In writing: NBFH, PO Box 224, Preston PR1 1GP

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Information you'll be asked to provide

When reporting fraud, you will be asked to provide: 

  • The person's full name
  • Their address and/or the address at which fraud is suspected
  • Details of anyone else involved
  • Why you suspect fraud
  • What you believe they are doing
  • Descriptions of those involved (height, build, hair colour etc.)
  • If you suspect them of working, give the employers name, start and finish times, car registration and any other details known

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