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Telegraph: Bounty Hunters To Cut Benefit Fraud By £1Bn

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The Daily Telegraph

By Holly Watt, Rosa Prince and Robert Winnett

Published: 9:49PM BST 09 Aug 2010

Finance experts will identify welfare cheats by trawling through their records, household bills and credit card applications.

The agencies will get a “bounty” payment for each fraudster they identify under government plans to cut the £5.2billion annual fraud bill.

By having access to the Government’s database of incapacity and housing benefit claimants, the companies believe they can shave at least £1billion from the welfare bill, earning as much as £50million.

The Prime Minister will say today that the level of fraud is “absolutely outrageous” and an “uncompromising” strategy is needed.

Don't like to post entire articles, but you get the idea.

More HERE

Edited by libspero

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So the credit reference agencies get to know the names and addresses of everyone on benefits? Presumably they would have to know how much benefit is paid out to each individual as well in order for their algorithms to work out who looks suspicious? Feels like the kind of Big Brother sledgehammer approach that Labour would have taken. A lot of potential for collateral damage here, especially with Experian getting a cut of the action.

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Guest DissipatedYouthIsValuable

Can't they start with property developers and bankers first?

Much better yield.

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So the credit reference agencies get to know the names and addresses of everyone on benefits? Presumably they would have to know how much benefit is paid out to each individual as well in order for their algorithms to work out who looks suspicious? Feels like the kind of Big Brother sledgehammer approach that Labour would have taken. A lot of potential for collateral damage here, especially with Experian getting a cut of the action.

CHinese walls will be in place.

Like anyone could detect fraud AS IT WAS HAPPENING in mortgages!

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So the credit reference agencies get to know the names and addresses of everyone on benefits? Presumably they would have to know how much benefit is paid out to each individual as well in order for their algorithms to work out who looks suspicious? Feels like the kind of Big Brother sledgehammer approach that Labour would have taken. A lot of potential for collateral damage here, especially with Experian getting a cut of the action.

I presume that, to comply with data protection laws, benefit claimers will have to approve of the government access to their private data and benefit claimers will be able to refuse that access without any effect on their benefit payments.

Quite frankly, this is disgusting. They have already demonstrated their willingness to abuse anti-terror laws for trivial suspicions.

If the get away with this, you can be sure it will quickly applied to all taxpayers. How long before the government starts 'asking' for the right to dip in your bank account as and when its feels the need? after all, what's the difference between a taxpayer and benefit claimer - its all government money, right?

Edited by Peter Hun

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The Prime Minister will say today that the level of fraud is “absolutely outrageous” and an “uncompromising” strategy is needed.

It really is time they got these politicians under control!

:D

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CHinese walls will be in place.

Like anyone could detect fraud AS IT WAS HAPPENING in mortgages!

Fraud is like certain leaves on a railway line.

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Don't like to post entire articles, but you get the idea.

More HERE

I can vouch for this i was speaking to a scally mate from Lpool last night and he highlighted how his neighbour had 2 visits from someone calling themselves Boba Fett within the last week

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They could start with all the unmarried mothers on housing benefits who claim they live alone withe no man support so they get the whole rent paid by us (advised probably by the BTL landlord), I'm positive from my own and many colleges observations that around 50% have men living with them and in a lot of cases these are the child's Fathers.

This fraud is massive

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They could start with all the unmarried mothers on housing benefits who claim they live alone withe no man support so they get the whole rent paid by us (advised probably by the BTL landlord), I'm positive from my own and many colleges observations that around 50% have men living with them and in a lot of cases these are the child's Fathers.

This fraud is massive

+1

When they get told that the bloke has his own place, they need to check that address to see that he hasn't sublet it.

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Can't they start with property developers and bankers first?

Much better yield.

They can sort land registry details and see who keeps buying and selling...

That'd be so easy.

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What about the far far larger fraudsters in the city? Tax avoidance / evasion? Bashing the poorest and those scamming chicken feed compared to the big boys. :rolleyes:

If they're paid on a % they'll go after the big boys ... if it's a per case thing with expenses to milk (*sighs* it's bound to be) then they'll go slowly through the little guys.

Currently benefit fraud investigations seem to take forever.

The video of the old arthritic bloke jiving took years - by which time his arthritis could have flared up again....

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On a slightly different subject but the same sort of thing , I got a letter from the council the other day reguarding my 25% single persons discount for council tax.

I had to fill in a form and sign that I was still the only person living here. I also had to consent that if they wanted to the council could come around and check the premises.

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+1

When they get told that the bloke has his own place, they need to check that address to see that he hasn't sublet it.

IMO it would be easy some of the houses I work in the tenants dont even bother to hide the fact, a call after 10pm would see evidence enough van/ car outside bloke in watching telly beer bottles all over the place cig packets etc, its an epidemic ask anyone who works in social housing or BTL property, and yes the landlords are quite skilled in finding these tenants and actively advising them how to obtain £560 a month plus free council tax for a two bed property.

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IMO it would be easy some of the houses I work in the tenants dont even bother to hide the fact, a call after 10pm would see evidence enough van/ car outside bloke in watching telly beer bottles all over the place cig packets etc, its an epidemic ask anyone who works in social housing or BTL property, and yes the landlords are quite skilled in finding these tenants and actively advising them how to obtain £560 a month plus free council tax for a two bed property.

Big problem there is getting a council worker out at 10pm.

They can't even do roadworks outside normal working hours, did you know... moan moan

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So the credit reference agencies get to know the names and addresses of everyone on benefits?

I guess banks already know, since it's just a matter of noting the account the money originates from. Don't think you can get cash benefit payments anymore?

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IMO it would be easy some of the houses I work in the tenants dont even bother to hide the fact, a call after 10pm would see evidence enough van/ car outside bloke in watching telly beer bottles all over the place cig packets etc, its an epidemic ask anyone who works in social housing or BTL property, and yes the landlords are quite skilled in finding these tenants and actively advising them how to obtain £560 a month plus free council tax for a two bed property.

Yep, used to live next to one. Same two vehicles outside every night. If they had bothered to visit the flat he claimed to live at they would have seen that occupied in the evenings, a knock on the door would have confirmed he was subletting.

A significant cut in fraud could be achieved without giving any details to Experian.

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Don't like to post entire articles, but you get the idea.

More HERE

The funny thing is that they headline the fraud bill as 5.2 billion. As if thats what people are going out to con the government out of. In reality the fraud figure seems to be ~1.5 billion, with errors adding in another 1.6 billion.

What are the odds that the 5.2 billion comes from experian as it pitches for business??

As a side note the scams barclay's alone were pulling in dodgling tax adds up to about the same (1-1.5 billion).

It seems this is scapegoating more than anything else, an attempt to direct blame and anger at a subset of our population. If they wanted to go after fraudsters who do you target? 50-100k people each stealing 10-30k, or the big boys each stealing 10mil+ each. From a tax take / expenditure point of view what they are doing just doesnt make sense.

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