What is Benefit Fraud? Benefit fraud is benefit theft!
There are no excuses when it comes to benefit fraud. Deliberately withholding information that affects a claim is stealing. That's why we are targeting benefit thieves!
Many people assume that benefit theft applies only to those who are working for 'cash in hand' whilst claiming benefits. This is not the case. All benefit theft is crime, and this includes incorrect claims for Housing and Council Tax Benefits.
Everyone who commits benefit fraud is a benefit thief.
Benefit theft includes people:
There are no exceptions. People who knowingly withhold information or deliberately fail to report a change in their circumstances are benefit thieves. It is not 'playing the game' - it is breaking the law!
If your circumstances have changed, tell us straight away.
Dumfries and Galloway Council takes benefit theft very seriously. Although the vast majority of people who claim benefits are honest, those who commit benefit theft are picking the pockets of law-abiding taxpayers.
The latest government estimate (2011/12) is that £1.2 billion is lost from public funds every year through all benefit fraud. Fraud in Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit is estimated to cost £420 million each year.
The Council is committed to making benefit theft harder to get away with and we are determined to detect and catch benefit thieves.
We have professionally trained Fraud Investigators with powers to investigate people suspected of all types of benefit fraud. All benefit theft is crime and those found breaking the law face a criminal record.
We are targeting benefit thieves with a full range of penalties.
People suspected of benefit theft face:
We are tracking benefit thieves in every way we can.
Dumfries and Galloway Council now has more ways to track down and identify benefit thieves:
If anyone you know is committing benefit theft, we want to hear about it.
If you know of anyone committing benefit fraud you can contact the Council's Benefit Fraud Team in confidence on our Council's Benefit Fraud Hotline - 0800 085 7449. The line is manned from 9.00 am to 5.00 pm, Monday to Friday. You can also email at Benefit.Fraud@dumgal.gov.uk
Alternatively you can contact the National Local Authority Fraud Hotline on 0800 328 6340. Your call is free and confidential. Lines are open 8.00am - 6.00pm, Monday to Friday.
The following information would be useful when reporting suspected fraud: