Benefit fraud cost the country around 900 million in 2008-09. If you think someone is committing benefit fraud, find out how you can report them and stop them taking money from the people who need it most.
What is benefit fraud?
Benefit fraud is when someone is dishonest in order to receive benefit or knowingly fails to report a change in their circumstances. This includes people who:
- do not report they are now living with a partner or that their partner has started work
- do not report they are receiving other benefits
- do not declare their savings or do not declare the right amount of savings
- are claiming for children who have left home
- do not report they have started work, or started to earn money
- do not report they have inherited money
- do not report they are going abroad, living abroad, or have changed address
How you can report benefit fraud
There are three ways you can report benefit fraud:
Complete an online form on the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) website.
- Complete benefit thieves reporting form Opens new window
Call the National Benefit Fraud Hotline (NFBH) on 0800 854 440. Lines are open between 7.00 am and 11.00 pm,seven days a week. It is free and confidential.
If you have speech or hearing problems you can use a text phone service on 0800 328 0512.
The Welsh National Benefit Fraud Hotline on 0800 6783722 is open from 8.00 am to 6.00 pm, Monday to Friday (an out-of-hours messaging service operates from 7.00 am to 8.00 am and 6.00 pm to 11.00 pm weekdays and from 7.00 am to 11.00 pm at weekends).
If you would prefer to make your report in writing, you can send information to:
NBFH, PO Box 224, Preston, PR1 1GP
All reports of benefit fraud are treated in the strictest confidence.
You can make an anonymous report
Whether you use the online reporting form, call the hotline, or write a letter, you can choose not to give your contact details if you prefer.
It helps if you do provide your details because DWP can get back to you with any questions if this is necessary.
What information to provide
The law says that there has to be a good reason for investigating someone for benefitfraud – so you will need to give as much of the following information as possible:
- the name and address of the person you are reporting and their partner, if they have one
- a description of the person
- the type ofbenefit theftyou think they are committing and why you suspect them
- information about their employer, if you think they are working
- information about their vehicle, if they have one
What happens after you report someone
The Fraud Investigation Service will look at the information you give. If you have given enough information, they will check the person’s benefit claim.
The investigation might take some time, and the Fraud Investigation Service aren’t allowed to tell you the outcome.
Sometimes no action is taken. It might be that the person has declared the change in their circumstances and their benefit is not affected by it.
The Fraud Investigation Service will only take action if they find the person has been committing benefit fraud. Action can include removing a person’s benefits and taking them to court.
Find out more about the Department for Work and Pensions Targeting benefit thieves campaign by using the link below.