The Department of Labor and Pensions will scrutinize social media and bank accounts to tackle £ 8.4 billion worth of overpaid benefits last year.
They say they will come up with “robust plans” after 3.9 percent of benefit spending is overpaid, of which $ 6.3 billion.
Fraudulent claims have hit record levels during the pandemic, and DWP says it will contact thousands of people who are believed to have paid too much last year. Lancs Live reported.
Click here for more news on the benefits
The ministry says while they are receiving reports of fraud allegations from the public, this is not their only form of investigation.
They also have an ingenious system in place for uncovering clandestine fraud.
This includes information uploaded to social media accounts and banking information.
Investigators have a wide range of powers that allow them to gather evidence in a variety of ways, including surveillance, interrogation, and document tracing.
Anyone who receives benefits can be examined at any time. Evidence against them will not be disclosed to an investigated person unless they are charged with a court of law.
A DWP spokesperson said, “We also have solid plans to recover fraudulent claims and bring fraud and errors down to the lowest possible level.”
Universal Credit General Manager Neil Couling also commented that thousands of applicants could be targeted in the coming months as DWP continues its fraud and error drills.
Applicants who have provided false information during the pandemic risk an “administrative penalty” which will be deducted from their future benefits.
DWP’s definition of benefit fraud is when “someone is receiving government benefits that are not entitled to it or intentionally failing to report a change in their personal circumstances”.
The most common form of benefit fraud is when a person receives unemployment benefits while they are employed. Another is when a person claims to live alone but is supported financially by a partner or spouse.
Getting accused of fraud by the DWP can be stressful enough, but the thought of being investigated by officials without really knowing why can lead to further worries.
Many investigators wear plain clothes and can show up at your home or at work anytime, which could be scary for many.
Get the latest updates from across Hull and East Yorkshire straight to your inbox with Hull Live’s free newsletters.
You can easily sign up by following the instructions here
Knowing about DWP exams can make all the difference and allow you to live your life as normally as possible while an exam is in progress.
Performance fraud occurs when someone has used benefits that they were deliberately not entitled to, for example by failing to report a change in circumstances or providing false information.
The DWP needs evidence that someone is receiving a benefit (such as a tax credit or benefit payment) that they would not normally be entitled to.
Click here to get the daily headlines from the Hull news to your email inbox.