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Benefit Fraud

It occurs when someone applies for government grants by submitting fallacious information like seeking unemployment benefits while working or seeking financial support for living alone but being financially backed by a partner. 

Nevertheless, the circumstances may change in certain cases, like the partner getting a job or their death- leaving you some income or otherwise. Of course, all such modifications in circumstances should be reported, but if not, it leads to "fraud by omission."

How To Spot It?

In some cases, a person benefits by using the identity of someone else. For example, if you have applied for state housing but are informed that you do not qualify in your area and have had housing before, it may happen due to identity theft. 

In child benefit and guardian allowance frauds, the claimant seeks benefits by lying about the child's circumstances and fails to declare the authentic details. For example, they may have left home, are 16 years old and left school and started working. But, they seek allowance that does not exist. 

To investigate such cases, a team wearing plain clothes may visit the home and workplace of the person asking for the benefit to find if the person is getting authentic benefits or they are not entitled to it.

Some of the common examples of such cases are –

  • Providing fake information about injury or sickness to gain unemployment/disability claims.

  • Failing to report the gains through a new job to make the income appear lower.

  • Living with someone who is contributing to the household income without declaring about it to the authorities.

  • Gaining tax benefit one is not entitled to.

The investigators can gain evidence to prove the crime through methods like surveillance, document tracing or interviews. For example, the investigation team would notify the person in writing or telephone before conducting an investigation. Then, they produce proofs in the form of videos, photos, audio recordings or bank statements. 

They may even check their social media account and the person's profile pictures to keep track of their life and habits. If the expense and lifestyle habits are not as per the information mentioned in the claim forms, they can gather evidence against the person. 

Date Published: Feb 01, 2022

Types of fraud

A-Z of fraud

To help understand which fraud you've been affected by, we've categorised them into an alphabetical list.

What is fraud and cyber crime?

Cybercrimes can be of two types. First, it can be cyber dependent, where the fraudsters use online devices to convince the victim to accept their offers.

Advance fee fraud

If you are trying to get a loan for a house or a car, they ask to meet the provider to get the financing arrangement and pay the finder's fee in advance.

Corporate fraud

Corporate frauds can be complicated, committed either by the firm or an individual. Nevertheless, it mostly involves cheating where the employee or the firm.

Individual fraud

There are many types of individual frauds related to advance fees, investments, insurance brokers, bogus tradespeople, Ponzi schemes, pension liberation.

Online fraud

Hence the number of cases of online fraud is increasing each year, and most such cases include – account takeover, direct frauds, or scams related domain names.

Identity fraud and identity theft

The criminal uses the stolen identity of another person living or deceased to conduct unlawful activities like obtaining goods or services in another's name.
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