Benefit fraud is a criminal offence. If you’re prosecuted in court for benefit fraud and are found guilty you will have a criminal record which might affect your eligibility for certain jobs, your insurance premiums and your ability to get credit.
You commit benefit fraud by either:
- Intentionally not reporting a change in your circumstances affecting your benefit
- Being dishonest in order to get benefits which you’re not entitled to
If we think benefit fraud has been committed we take this very seriously.
Reporting benefit fraud
We will treat all the information you supply in complete confidence. Your details will not be revealed to the person you suspect of committing fraud. We cannot give you any feedback on specific cases after you make a report of benefit fraud.
You can tell us about suspected fraud by:
- Calling our benefit fraud hotline 08081 624043 Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm
- Completing our online fraud reporting form
We’ll ask you for information about the person you think is committing fraud, including the type of fraud, their personal details, their appearance and whether they have a partner who is also committing fraud. It doesn’t matter if you don't know all this information, any details you can supply may be helpful.
Our fraud investigation section will then make enquiries based on the information you have supplied.
We can only deal with reports of Benefit Fraud in the Isle of Man. If you live in the UK contact the Department for Work and Pensions.
If you’re suspected of benefit fraud
A social security inspector will contact you if you’re suspected of benefit fraud. They may visit you or ask you to meet to talk about your claim.
Social security inspectors will gather facts about your case and decide whether to take further action. They can require people such as your employer or your landlord to provide them with information about you if you’re suspected of benefit fraud. Inspectors can also contact your bank, utility provider or telecommunications provider.
Other Government bodies (such as the Assessor of Income Tax and public sector landlords) are also allowed to provide information to help with benefit fraud investigations.
Your benefit may be stopped while the investigation takes place. If this happens, we’ll write to you to let you know.
After a benefit fraud investigation
If there is evidence that you’ve committed benefit fraud, you’ll be told to pay back the overpaid money. One or more of the following may also happen:
- You may be prosecuted in court
- You may be given the opportunity to pay a financial penalty rather than go to court
- You may be cautioned rather than go to court or pay a penalty
- Your benefits may be reduced or stopped