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Fraud Investigator

49 replies

FraudInvestigatorAMA · 15/12/2023 16:29

Off the back of another thread, here goes.

I currently work in a local council but have 20 years experience in various areas.

Am busy for a couple of hours, so will reply later this evening.

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TheGhostOfTheOpera · 15/12/2023 20:55

Fraud for blue badge application?
im very surprised about that.

What is the aim for that?
i mean the council isn’t ‘saving’ any money. And I’m struggling to see any people fi getting to get a space closer to the door at the supermarket.

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FraudInvestigatorAMA · 15/12/2023 20:56

onestepfromgrace · 15/12/2023 20:50

Are you inundated and how do you prioritise cases? I work in LA and our fraud department simply can’t even look at so many cases as they don’t have the time and manpower.

The same as us, and many other LAs, it often feels like fire fighting or plates spinning on sticks. We tend to concentrate on higher value frauds, fraud committed over a long time period as opposed to a one off, or those with a more likely outcome of success. But we sometimes take a quick, easy win with no significant value to it, as a publicity case or if there are concerns that it could escalate. In an ideal world, everything would be investigated fully and properly to its logical conclusion, but unfortunately in the public sector it isnt always that simple.

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FraudInvestigatorAMA · 15/12/2023 20:59

DinoDays · 15/12/2023 20:53

Without giving too many identifying details what's the "weirdest" fraud you've investigated?

Nothing particularly springs to mind in my current role, but I previously investigated insurance fraud, and people will tell all manner of tall tales to try and get a claim through.

I've had someone who had a motorbike stolen from outside his mistress's house lie about where it was parked as he didn't want his wife to know where he was, to people swearing blind they have become paralysed in a very low speed impact (less than 10mph) that caused no damage to either vehicle.

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FraudInvestigatorAMA · 15/12/2023 21:02

TheGhostOfTheOpera · 15/12/2023 20:55

Fraud for blue badge application?
im very surprised about that.

What is the aim for that?
i mean the council isn’t ‘saving’ any money. And I’m struggling to see any people fi getting to get a space closer to the door at the supermarket.

We wouldn't deal with supermarket parking as thats private property. But if you have a blue badge you are allowed to park for free in council owned car parks, on street pay and display bays and on double yellows for up to three hours. So if you wanted free, easy on street parking then getting a blue badge is a way of doing it. You would indeed be surprised at what people would do for an easier/cheaper life and not consider it fraud.

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procrastinationismyhobby · 15/12/2023 21:04

"The Government is actually in the middle of starting a fraud apprenticeship scheme which will standardise the role across the public sector."
This is already a thing OP. The counter fraud investigator apprenticeship (CFIA) was launched a few years ago. I work for fraud investigation in HMRC and we've had apprentices now for 2 years. The Public sector fraud authority lead on it, but HMRC initiated and formed the trailblazer group.

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FraudInvestigatorAMA · 15/12/2023 21:06

procrastinationismyhobby · 15/12/2023 21:04

"The Government is actually in the middle of starting a fraud apprenticeship scheme which will standardise the role across the public sector."
This is already a thing OP. The counter fraud investigator apprenticeship (CFIA) was launched a few years ago. I work for fraud investigation in HMRC and we've had apprentices now for 2 years. The Public sector fraud authority lead on it, but HMRC initiated and formed the trailblazer group.

Then I am happy to stand corrected. Its not really a thing where I work and my understanding was that the apprenticeships hadnt been rolled out yet fully. 😀

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QuestBloomingdale · 15/12/2023 21:16

FraudInvestigatorAMA · 15/12/2023 20:52

As in falsely claiming disability? Yes, I have some cases ongoing at the moment, but can often be difficult to prove, especially when mental health is claimed as a factor.

Yes, thank you for answering.

What about for physical disability, like falsely claiming or exaggerating illness/condition to get a bungalow, for example, or any other advantage, like getting on the priority or top band?

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FraudInvestigatorAMA · 15/12/2023 21:20

QuestBloomingdale · 15/12/2023 21:16

Yes, thank you for answering.

What about for physical disability, like falsely claiming or exaggerating illness/condition to get a bungalow, for example, or any other advantage, like getting on the priority or top band?

No problem. Yes that does happen and we do have some cases of those too. Again, they can be difficult to prove and often require surveillance and medical reports. People can be very good at exaggerating/fabricating disabilities unfortunately.

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LeaveBritneyAlone · 15/12/2023 21:27

I remember reading in my local paper years ago about a woman claiming DLA for a bad back that was ‘so painful she was resigned to a chair’. She was filmed at her local golf club, actually running up to her Mercedes with her bag of clubs in her arms, and threw them into the boot of her car 😂she was jailed I think. Are you the person who does the filming OP? And if so do you do what I would do - pretend to be an undercover copper and eat McDonald’s on my car 🤣

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FraudInvestigatorAMA · 15/12/2023 21:34

LeaveBritneyAlone · 15/12/2023 21:27

I remember reading in my local paper years ago about a woman claiming DLA for a bad back that was ‘so painful she was resigned to a chair’. She was filmed at her local golf club, actually running up to her Mercedes with her bag of clubs in her arms, and threw them into the boot of her car 😂she was jailed I think. Are you the person who does the filming OP? And if so do you do what I would do - pretend to be an undercover copper and eat McDonald’s on my car 🤣

Yes thats quite common. In theory I could be the one who filmed her, but see the previous answer about surveillance. Plus benefits are investigated by the DWP so not within our remit. I have done surveillance before and I promise, its very very dull for 99% of the time 😁

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QuestBloomingdale · 15/12/2023 21:37

LeaveBritneyAlone · 15/12/2023 21:27

I remember reading in my local paper years ago about a woman claiming DLA for a bad back that was ‘so painful she was resigned to a chair’. She was filmed at her local golf club, actually running up to her Mercedes with her bag of clubs in her arms, and threw them into the boot of her car 😂she was jailed I think. Are you the person who does the filming OP? And if so do you do what I would do - pretend to be an undercover copper and eat McDonald’s on my car 🤣

Watched a few on YouTube. One where a woman on PIP and UC who claimed she wasn't able to work due to disability was running her own cafe by the seaside. She was followed for a while, then caught red handed. The video showed how she'd go to the dwp office with her disability aids but would walk around, carry everything out and back in, etc while running her cafe.

Another one with another woman who claimed she couldn't walk and needed a wheelchair but was caught dancing at a wedding, etc. She too had been followed for a while.


Thanks OP.@FraudInvestigatorAMA

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FraudInvestigatorAMA · 15/12/2023 21:40

QuestBloomingdale · 15/12/2023 21:37

Watched a few on YouTube. One where a woman on PIP and UC who claimed she wasn't able to work due to disability was running her own cafe by the seaside. She was followed for a while, then caught red handed. The video showed how she'd go to the dwp office with her disability aids but would walk around, carry everything out and back in, etc while running her cafe.

Another one with another woman who claimed she couldn't walk and needed a wheelchair but was caught dancing at a wedding, etc. She too had been followed for a while.


Thanks OP.@FraudInvestigatorAMA

Yes its surprisingly common. People often post things on social media of themselves doing activities at odds with things they claim they cant do, then get surprised when they find out their facebook account isn't locked against public view.

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TheGhostOfTheOpera · 16/12/2023 08:00

FraudInvestigatorAMA · 15/12/2023 21:02

We wouldn't deal with supermarket parking as thats private property. But if you have a blue badge you are allowed to park for free in council owned car parks, on street pay and display bays and on double yellows for up to three hours. So if you wanted free, easy on street parking then getting a blue badge is a way of doing it. You would indeed be surprised at what people would do for an easier/cheaper life and not consider it fraud.

My mind boggle at that because when I applied for my BB they asked to see hospital letters showing that I can’t walk very long - the same docs I gave PIP.
I know some councils ask people to show you are receiving enhanced mobility fur PIP and it’s very hard to get it Wo PIP.

So the idea that some people could dodge the system fir a BB is 😵‍💫😵‍💫 for me.

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TheGhostOfTheOpera · 16/12/2023 08:04

Can I just point out that it might be common for you to find people doing stupid things such as running a cafe whilst claiming they can’t work etc…

BUT

it is not usual at all fir people to make fraudulent claims for disability?

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FraudInvestigatorAMA · 16/12/2023 09:10

TheGhostOfTheOpera · 16/12/2023 08:00

My mind boggle at that because when I applied for my BB they asked to see hospital letters showing that I can’t walk very long - the same docs I gave PIP.
I know some councils ask people to show you are receiving enhanced mobility fur PIP and it’s very hard to get it Wo PIP.

So the idea that some people could dodge the system fir a BB is 😵‍💫😵‍💫 for me.

I don't deal with the blue badge applications, but as far as I am aware the letters are taken at face value, so I guess if someone had half decent IT skills it would be possible to knock up a fake letter. I have certainly seen people create fake council tax bills.

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FraudInvestigatorAMA · 16/12/2023 09:14

TheGhostOfTheOpera · 16/12/2023 08:04

Can I just point out that it might be common for you to find people doing stupid things such as running a cafe whilst claiming they can’t work etc…

BUT

it is not usual at all fir people to make fraudulent claims for disability?

Like I said before, I don't investigate benefit claims so I don't know how common it is, but people certainly do make fraudulent claims for disability benefits, or other things such as priority housing. I have investigated several claims of people exaggerating injuries, and even people claiming to be permanently disabled after a car accident in order to get insurance money.

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TheGhostOfTheOpera · 16/12/2023 14:44

Ah so you are one if those who can’t bring themselves to recognise that it is a MINORITY of people.

I was wondering why I was so drawn in writing that post. 😢😢 to see I wasn’t wrong in reminding posters that the very very large majority of claimants are not fraudsters.

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FraudInvestigatorAMA · 16/12/2023 15:38

TheGhostOfTheOpera · 16/12/2023 14:44

Ah so you are one if those who can’t bring themselves to recognise that it is a MINORITY of people.

I was wondering why I was so drawn in writing that post. 😢😢 to see I wasn’t wrong in reminding posters that the very very large majority of claimants are not fraudsters.

I'm sorry if that's what you took from my post. I did clearly state that I don't know numbers as it not the area I work in, but I do know that some people do lie about disabilities/illnesses to receive benefits they wouldn't ordinarily be entitled to. I never said it was the majority, I simply said it was some.

I would like to believe that the majority of the population is inherently honest, and this would reflect in the numbers of people being fraudulent, whether that be benfit claims, insurance claims, or anywhere else people had an opportunity to be dishonest.

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DinoDays · 16/12/2023 17:12

TheGhostOfTheOpera · 16/12/2023 14:44

Ah so you are one if those who can’t bring themselves to recognise that it is a MINORITY of people.

I was wondering why I was so drawn in writing that post. 😢😢 to see I wasn’t wrong in reminding posters that the very very large majority of claimants are not fraudsters.

I think you're being unfair. Why on Earth would the OP know how many people claim disability and how many out of these are fraudulent?

He doesn't work in that department and he was mentioning a previous role in insurance where a lot of people DO make false claims! Who doesn't know someone who has claimed for whiplash!

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Wittyusername2000 · 23/12/2023 19:56

FraudInvestigatorAMA · 15/12/2023 21:34

Yes thats quite common. In theory I could be the one who filmed her, but see the previous answer about surveillance. Plus benefits are investigated by the DWP so not within our remit. I have done surveillance before and I promise, its very very dull for 99% of the time 😁

I do surveillance for DWP and you're right, it is dull 99% of the time, but the others times where it isn't dull more than make up for it

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FraudInvestigatorAMA · 23/12/2023 20:03

Wittyusername2000 · 23/12/2023 19:56

I do surveillance for DWP and you're right, it is dull 99% of the time, but the others times where it isn't dull more than make up for it

Edited

I've only done the odd day here and there over the years. I couldn't imagine doing it full time. I take my hat off to you.

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Wittyusername2000 · 23/12/2023 20:11

FraudInvestigatorAMA · 23/12/2023 20:03

I've only done the odd day here and there over the years. I couldn't imagine doing it full time. I take my hat off to you.

I love my job, I would say its 60% out on surveillance and the rest of the time doing actual investigation, but I can't imagine doing anything else.

We go into each case to prove or disprove an allegation, we haven't made up our minds on whether they are faking it or not until we actually see them in person, despite what they may post on socials etc.

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Wittyusername2000 · 23/12/2023 20:13

LeaveBritneyAlone · 15/12/2023 21:27

I remember reading in my local paper years ago about a woman claiming DLA for a bad back that was ‘so painful she was resigned to a chair’. She was filmed at her local golf club, actually running up to her Mercedes with her bag of clubs in her arms, and threw them into the boot of her car 😂she was jailed I think. Are you the person who does the filming OP? And if so do you do what I would do - pretend to be an undercover copper and eat McDonald’s on my car 🤣

That would be someone like me that does the filming 😃

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FraudInvestigatorAMA · 23/12/2023 22:19

Wittyusername2000 · 23/12/2023 20:11

I love my job, I would say its 60% out on surveillance and the rest of the time doing actual investigation, but I can't imagine doing anything else.

We go into each case to prove or disprove an allegation, we haven't made up our minds on whether they are faking it or not until we actually see them in person, despite what they may post on socials etc.

Absolutely. Despite what people think and what initial evidence we might have you definitely need to keep an open mind.

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