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Sister committing benefit fraud

(147 Posts)
Namechange1987 Thu 15-Oct-15 13:00:20

I'll start by saying I work in benefits - the fraud department. My job is to investigate people like my sister. She has been on benefits for 2 years since her DD was born, she has worked on and off - she never admitted this to me but I know through several other people she's been doing cash in hand work. (Never told benefits before of course though)

Anyway - 4 months ago she moved her new partner in, he works full time earning around 26k, she is refusing to tell benefit organisations and is continuing to get full rent, majority of council tax, income support ect.

I have constantly said to her 'you have until 1st august' ect to tell them, she hasn't and says she won't as 'why shouldn't I get benefits I don't go to work' no, she has never paid tax but she is 'entitled to do this'

Would I be unreasonable to write in to benefits pretending to be her and letting them no he has moved in? I really don't want to report her for fraud as it may look like I've helped her to do this..

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I can't stand her booking holidays, buying a new car ect with money supposed to help people who genuinely need it. It makes me sick.

AIBU? Should I just keep my nose out of it?

Madbengalmum Thu 15-Oct-15 13:02:00

I sould have thought morally it was your duty to shop her judging by your job title.

MrsLeighHalfpenny Thu 15-Oct-15 13:04:19

I wouldn't write in and pretend to be her - your lying would compound the wrongess of the situation.
If you are going to dob her in, I'd do so anonymously.

I'm inclined to advise you to keep your nose out if it, but it's a difficult one, as you work in the benefits system. What, if any, would be the repercussions for you if it came to light that you knew of someone who was fraudulently receiving benefits and hadn't reported it?

BondJayneBond Thu 15-Oct-15 13:04:54

Wouldn't it be fraudulent for you to write into benefits pretending to be her?

Enb76 Thu 15-Oct-15 13:06:41

You would be committing fraud yourself by pretending to be her. I would tell her that you have no choice, due to the nature of your job, but to report it and that it would be better coming from her. Give her a deadline and then report her.

LieselVonTwat Thu 15-Oct-15 13:07:21

She's totally going to know it was you, if you write in.

ginorwine Thu 15-Oct-15 13:08:33

You need to send anonymous letter re situation not pretending to be her .i was in similar position once and was told by colleague that I Wd be in major trouble at work if I didnt .

laffymeal Thu 15-Oct-15 13:09:08

Hmmm, why would someone who works in benefit fraud contemplate perpetrating a fraud of their own? Seems an odd choice of action when you would presumably know the procedure for reporting inside out.

Salene Thu 15-Oct-15 13:09:24

For the sake of not causing a family riot I'd personally keep out of it. No doubt she will get caught out eventually

Nabootique Thu 15-Oct-15 13:10:54

If you've previously given her an ultimatum then she must be expecting you to report her? I think you should. What she's doing is not only wrong, but it's also awful of her to put you in such a difficult position.

RNBrie Thu 15-Oct-15 13:11:19

I've reported my sister for housing fraud twice and another family member has reported her as well - nothing ever came of it. I just think I'd leave it if I were you - what's the point?! If she gets caught you can just say you had no knowledge of her circumstances?

Namechange1987 Thu 15-Oct-15 13:11:58

I said about writing in as her as this would not get her in trouble for benefit fraud as she had told them, whereas if I report her for fraud it goes into a whole different kettle of fish...

But yes it was probably stupid of me to contemplate that. I've tried the deadline thing she just doesn't listen, I would lose my job if it came to light and it was believed I knew about it. But it would cause a family riot if I report her..

Thanks everyone though

Seriouslyffs Thu 15-Oct-15 13:12:59

Surely this came up in your training. Can you speak to anyone at work?

sparkleup Thu 15-Oct-15 13:13:39

The problem you've got is that your job will be tainted by this whatever you do. You have 3 options: ignore it, dob her in anonymously or dob her in yourself.

If you ignore it and it's later discovered I would imagine that has far worse repercussions for your job than if you did it anonymously. But ignoring it means you have to hope no one else dobs her in or her case isn't looked at anyway.

If you're really worried that dobbing her in anonymously may look bad on you then you're left with ignore and hope or dobbing her in yourself and owning up that you've given her some time to correct things herself.

Pretending to be her isn't really an option, and I imagine could get you into a lot more trouble.

expatinscotland Thu 15-Oct-15 13:14:20

Dob her in anonymously.

scarlets Thu 15-Oct-15 13:14:48

You have to report suspected fraud in your position, I think. I worked in a similar field and it was made clear that suspicions needed to be reported. You could be accused of colluding otherwise. Moral arguments aside, you can't turn a blind eye.

PennyHasNoSurname Thu 15-Oct-15 13:17:09

Can you go to a Supervisor? "I have reasonto suspect someone is committing fraud, and as they are a family member it would be unethical of me to investigate, can you step in?"

OurBlanche Thu 15-Oct-15 13:19:36

So... your family will go spare at you if you do anything to protect your job?

But they accept/condone her behaving in a way that could cause you to lose your job?

Have you been that blunt... DSis and rest of my family. When, not if, she gets caught out not only will she face court and possibly prison, but I could lose my job. Tell me why I am being unreasonable to demand that she stops doing something illegal that could also ruin my life?

But basically, if I were you I would tell her, she does it or you do. You can't allow her to threaten your job like this!

amazingtracy Thu 15-Oct-15 13:24:42

Personally, I'd tell her about the 'new change in policy' that "they" are bringing in at work that will definitely get her situation discovered.

Just make sure that she doesn't let anyone else know that the social is now tracing mobile call pings to identify where people are really living! wink

IamtheDevilsAvocado Thu 15-Oct-15 13:25:32

What a rubbish situation!

Your sister is being very selfish you know this anyway! .. Firstly fraudulently claiming and more importantly, putting you, her sister, in an impossible position, where you could be in a position where your job is in question.

Does she know how bad it would be for you if it subsequently came to light and you were hauled in by your bosses, and asked to account for why you hadn't reported as your job is purely about benefit fraud and you could be reasonably expected to know what she is doing?? ... It could very well be seen that you are complicit in the fraud....

To be honest, I don't think you have any choice but to speak to your managers about her at least... You could do it as a hypothetical -viz 'What would you say if a fraud officer suspected a close relative of fraud?' and see what they say...

Don't ffs write any letter pretending to be her....!! You wouldn't work in any decent job again after that sort of behaviour!

I really do feel for you... But to be honest I could put a very persuasive case that you are working with your sister to defraud..

I know you're not.... Just putting in a potential scenario....

It only takes one rules is rules boss for you to be in a very muddy situation!

DinosaursRoar Thu 15-Oct-15 13:28:17

You've given her a deadline and she's ignored it? OK, so you've warned her, you have no choice really unless you are prepared to lose your job, you need to report her, and no anonomously, as you - if you do it anonomously you might still risk people at work believe you knew and kept it quiet rather than was the one who reported.

Is there anyone else in the family she might listen to, your parents maybe? If so, sit them down (ideally today) and say that you've been backed into a corner, you've told her if she doesn't stop you'd report her and she'd ignored you, that you are going to lose your job and you just don't think your family's financial security is less important than your DSis's desire to claim benefits she's not entitled to, so you are going to report on Monday, unless they can talk some sense into her to stop claiming before then.

Then do it. Ask for an appointment with your boss and explain the whole situation.

Your sister obviously doesn't think your financial security matters. Stop prioritising her over yourself and your DCs.

StatisticallyChallenged Thu 15-Oct-15 13:28:38

I think you need to report her, and probably do it directly to work. I'd imagine if it's done anonymously then it could look worse from the perspective if you possibly knowing and doing nothing.

Personally I wouldn't mention the cash in hand jobs as you don't know for sure (i.e. you've only been told by other people) but you do know for sure about the partner. You need to protect yourself here.

RaptorInaPorkPieHat Thu 15-Oct-15 13:31:14

I would be upfront and tell her if she doesn't notify the relevant people or you will have to because of your job.

No doubt she'll throw a hissy fit but I don't think you have a choice. If it comes out at work that you've stood by and known about it, you'll be in hot water.

fastdaytears Thu 15-Oct-15 13:36:06

No way should you jeopardise your job for anyone- sister or not. Give her time to come clean if you want but don't let her hold this over you.

As for the family riot do they honestly think you should just leave this?

flustercuck Thu 15-Oct-15 13:40:15

Someone close to me has a similar job to yours. We were speaking about this the other day. If they are aware of someone committing benefit fraud and don't report it they will lose their job if it comes to light. Worth thinking about.

Saying the above I'd have to speak to my sister to try to get her to see sense rather than daub her in.

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