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Benefit fraud

Benefit fraud is when someone lies to obtain a state benefit they are not entitled to.

Benefit fraudsters can include, among others:

  • those claiming housing benefits when they are not entitled to one, or claiming for more then they are entitled to
  • people claiming disability allowances when they are not entitled to one
  • those claiming a carer’s allowance when they are not entitled to one
  • people failing to tell the authorities about a change in circumstances that mean they are no longer entitled to benefits.

Benefit fraudsters can be both individuals and organised fraudsters.

Are you a victim of benefit fraud?

Being told that you are claiming benefits when you are not could mean that you have been a victim of identity theft and fraudsters are claiming benefits in your name.

If you have applied for state housing and been told you do not qualify in your area, but have had housing before, you may have been a victim of benefit fraud.

What should you do if you're a victim of benefit fraud?

  • Contact Action fraud for support and guidance.
  • Notify your local council and benefits office.
  • Report benefit fraud to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) vis their secure, online report a benefit thief form.
  • Call the National Benefit Fraud Hotline (NFBH) on 0800 854 440. Lines are open between Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm. It is free and confidential. There is a text phone service available on 0800 328 0512.
  • The Welsh National Benefit Fraud Hotline on 0800 678 3722 is open from 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday (an out-of-hours messaging service operates from 7am to 8am and 6pm to 11pm weekdays and from 7am to 11pm 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.

See also:
Identity theft
Child Benefit fraud
Tax fraud