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to think that DWP would ONLY investigate someone for suspected benefit fraud if someone had reported them..?

(53 Posts)
MistyMountainHop Tue 10-Jan-12 14:49:28

i dont want this to turn into a benefits bunfight! and before i start i have no problem with people on benefits for whatever reason. i have been there myself.

but my friend has just been called in for a formal interview at the jobcentre. its pretty obvious what its for but she knows she hasn't done anything wrong and is really worried. i think someone has maliciously called the hotline as i really don't think the DWP would just do random checks, but she is convinced no one would do that to her hmm

perhaps i am paranoid, but if it was me i would be hopping mad and trying to think of who i might have pissed off lately grin

PopcornMouse Tue 10-Jan-12 14:53:38

If she's doing nothing dishonest, she shouldn't really worry?

TroublesomeEx Tue 10-Jan-12 14:53:55

If she hasn't done anything wrong, it might be something different. They don't investigate unless a suspected fraud is reported. Even if the details are very spurious, they treat all claims as honest until someone reports otherwise.

The don't investigate fully/prosecute unless it is financially viable for them to do so. It's very expensive.

So if your friend really has done nothing wrong, it might be for something completely different.

TroublesomeEx Tue 10-Jan-12 14:55:00

Even if the details are spurious... I meant within the claim form. DH said some of the details on forms are very suspect, but they can do nothing about it unless someone actually phones up and reports a fraud.

laurenamium Tue 10-Jan-12 14:57:01

Does your friend have horses and a son?

starfishmummy Tue 10-Jan-12 15:02:28

Yes they do random checks. Or it could be due to a report by someone about their horses!!

Tamoo Tue 10-Jan-12 15:02:38

DWP does squillions of cross checks these days regarding a person's finances. I know someone who was interviewed by phone recently because she'd had visitors from abroad (!) and someone else who was called into the office. The latter was to check contents of his bank account were under the limits.

When I was claiming JSA I was randomly called in for an office interview, didn't know why. When I got there the man said that it was because I'd previously been self-employed. Apparently there is a likely timescale for people to return to work, eg claiming JSA for a 'slow' period then getting back to it when things picked up, and 'forgetting' to inform DWP.

Your friend could phone and ask what it's regarding?

ComposHat Tue 10-Jan-12 15:03:05

Did someone spot her bringing her wages from her fictitious £25 per hour cash in hand job home in a wheelbarrow?

MistyMountainHop Tue 10-Jan-12 15:13:14

Does your friend have horses and a son?

grin <chuckle>

no, honestly, this is real (almost thought twice about posting this in light of recent possibly bullshit threads)

GypsyMoth Tue 10-Jan-12 15:17:52

Is she a lone parent on income support? If so, they have 6 monthly 'review' appointments you have to go in to attend

boredandrestless Tue 10-Jan-12 15:20:45

A lot of benefits now you have to go in regularly for a formal appointment/interview - could it be this? For example I go in every 6 months as I am a single parent on income support.

If she is a genuine claimant she has nothing to worry about.

boredandrestless Tue 10-Jan-12 15:21:10

Ah great minds Olympia grin

laurenamium Tue 10-Jan-12 15:23:01

grin compos

BustersOfDoom Tue 10-Jan-12 15:26:25

Folkgirl - members of staff are encouraged to report anything they are suspicious about to fraud. What your DH has said isn't true and I can't understand why he would've been told that.

And yes OP. Lots of random checks and data matching. Google DWP and data matching for info. On phone sorry so can't link.

It's probably nothing to worry about and chances are that she hasn't been reported.

Llanbobl Tue 10-Jan-12 15:31:27

But it isn't just the hotline that is used to identify fraud - there are many different ways of checking and cross checking.

If you (oops your friend) have done nothing wrong then there is nothing to worry about as many others have said. It's probably an interview to review entitlement, make due the right amounts are in payment and that all the info required to legally support the payment are held. That are it's weekly signing from week 13 for JSA or if on IS to discuss work/possible transition to JSA.

WibblyBibble Tue 10-Jan-12 15:34:51

Are you sure it's not a 6 month appointment for income support? Or it's possible that she pissed off someone at the jobcentre or they've tried to phone her and can't get through (if on JSA, you're supposed to have a working contact number at all times in case employers phone you at 4am to offer you a job and are too thick to leave a message or write a letter too).

TroublesomeEx Tue 10-Jan-12 20:08:41

Busters that's really interesting! He used to process claims for HB. He said they were told to assume that claimants were telling the truth because it wasn't their job to 'police' the service users.

Perhaps it depended on how obvious the 'errors' were! He wasn't talking obvious data matching errors, they were pursued, but where people's circumstances had a bit of a "yeah right hmm!" element to them (e.g. single mum, children all with the same surname as each other but different to the mum, children's surname the same as the landlord's) well they couldn't do anything about those.

WinterIsComing Tue 10-Jan-12 20:17:48

"single mum, children all with the same surname as each other but different to the mum, children's surname the same as the landlord's"

I know of a few set-ups like this and always wondered how they got away with it. In two families the eldest are teenagers so it's gone on for a while. Amazing.

OhDoAdmitMrsDeVere Tue 10-Jan-12 20:24:32

On that utterly vile 'saints and scroungers' programme they had a case of a woman who was on WTC etc.

In order to bump up her payments she made 2 or 3 calls informing them that her children and her OH were now on high rates of DLA. She would wait a few weeks between each call.

They took her on her word confused

Why on earth did they not check that DLA was being claimed (it wasnt btw did you know that DLA has a extraordinarly low rate of fraud?)

I was really suprised that the information was not cross checked, it would have saved a lot of money.

BustersOfDoom Tue 10-Jan-12 20:27:15

Ah right. That might be why then Folkgirl. Local authorities, who process HB, tend to do things a bit differently from JCP/DWP. They could have that policy but I can't understand why they would. But then again, HB doesn't come out of their budget, it comes out of DWP's. The LA's just process it on their behalf.

WinterIsComing Tue 10-Jan-12 20:30:13

When my DS was awarded DLA I was surprised that HMRC just took my word for it. We were entitled to some housing benefit at the time and they needed to see the award letter and have a copy on file.

OhDoAdmitMrsDeVere Tue 10-Jan-12 20:36:58

Surely if they did a simple cross check it would help put paid to some of the bloody myths about DLA scroungers?

IneedAbetterNicknameIn2012 Tue 10-Jan-12 20:46:54

Lone Parent interviews are changing to every 3 months.
They do random 'fraud checks' as I have had 3 in the last 2 years, everytime I have been told it is random and 'luck of the draw' as to who gets them. If your friend is a genuine claimant, then she needn't worry. All they have done at mine is ask me the same few questions, over and over again but phrased differently, I assume trying to catch me out.

OhDoAdmitMrsDeVere Tue 10-Jan-12 20:50:34

Are other checks being changed i.e. single people with no kids or are they just doing it to single parents?

carernotasaint Tue 10-Jan-12 21:29:41

What about the people who make malicious calls that are untrue.
If you did that to the police you would be charged with wasting police time.
If you report someone you should be prepared to stand by your statement. I dont think you should be allowed to report someone anonymously. Why cant the DWP charge a malicious caller with wasting their time like the police would.

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