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Reporting benefit theft

Benefit fraud cost the taxpayer around £16.9 million in 2012. If you think someone is committing benefit fraud, you can report them and stop them taking money from the people who need it most.

What is benefit fraud?

Benefit fraud takes many forms.  Below are examples of the most common types that our investigators see regularly. This list is not exhaustive.

  • working while claiming benefit
  • living together
  • cashing benefit payment when not entitled to do so
  • multiple-identity fraud
  • Housing Benefit fraud
  • falsely claiming benefit
  • failing to report a source of income
  • failing to report savings above the benefit level
  • failing to report a change in circumstances

Ways you can report benefit theft

There are three ways you can report benefit theft.

Online

Complete an online form on the Department for Work and Pensions website:

By Telephone

Call the Fraud Hotline on 0800 975 6050. Lines are open between 9.00 am and 5.00 pm, Monday to Friday. It is free and confidential.

If you have speech or hearing problems, you can use a text phone service on 028 9055 6991 Please note this is not a free-call service.

To report suspected Tax Credit fraud, call the Tax Credit Helpline on0345 300 3900. Lines are open between 8.00 am and 8.00 pm, Monday to Friday and 8.00 am and 4.00 pm on Saturday.

If you have speech or hearing problems, you can use a text phone service on 0345 300 3909. Please note this s not a free call service.

By Post

If you would prefer to make your report in writing, you can send information to:

Single Investigation Service
Lesley Exchange 1
24 East Bridge Street
Belfast
BT1 3NR

What information to provide

The law says there has to be a good reason for investigating someone for benefit fraud – so you will need to give as much of the following information as possible. The following type of information will help:

  • the name and address of the person you are reporting and their partner, if they have one
  • a description of the person
  • the type of benefit fraud you 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
  • and other information that you may feel will aid the investigation

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 details if you prefer.

What happens after you report someone?

Benefit fraud investigation staff will look at the information you give. If you have given enough information they will check the person’s benefit claim.

Any investigation might take some time and benefit fraud investigation staff are not allowed to tell you the outcome.

Sometimes no action is taken. It might be that the person has declared the work when claiming and their benefit is not affected by it.

The outcome of Benefit fraud investigations can result in a criminal record and recovery of any benefit which could be by means of confiscation of assets to the value lost through fraud.