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
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.
The extent of benefit fraud in the Isle of Man
If we think benefit fraud has been committed we take this very seriously. It is something that affects all of us. If we could make further savings by identifying more fraud, those savings could be used elsewhere.
Over £700,000 per year in benefit savings and benefit overpayments has been identified year-on-year. However, other benefit fraud goes on in the Island that we are not aware of. This is where you can help.
We can only deal with reports of Benefit Fraud in the Isle of Man. If you live in the United Kingdom you should visit the Department for Work and Pensions website.
I think someone is committing benefit fraud
You can tell us about this in 2 ways:
Call our benefit fraud hotline:
0808 1624043 Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm
When you call this number you will be asked 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 does not matter if you don't know all this information, any details you can supply may be helpful.
Complete our online fraud reporting form
This is a detailed form and again you do not need to know everything it asks you, just fill in as much as you can. The form is sent by email to our fraud investigation section who will then make enquiries based on the information you have supplied. Your details will not be revealed to the person you suspect of committing fraud. We will treat all the information you supply in complete confidence.
Reporting someone for benefit fraud
Please note we cannot give you any feedback on specific cases after you make a report of benefit fraud.
Complete our online fraud reporting form.
If you’re prosecuted for benefit fraud
If you’re prosecuted for benefit fraud in court you may have to pay a fine and/or go to prison. And you’ll still have to pay back the benefit you weren’t entitled to.
You’re suspected of benefit fraud
You’ll be contacted by a social security inspector if you’re suspected of benefit fraud. You may be visited by an inspector or asked to attend an interview to talk about your claim.
Your benefit may be stopped while you’re investigated. You’ll get a letter telling you about this if it happens.
Social security inspectors will gather facts about your case and decide whether to take further action. They can require certain persons (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 any bank, utility provider or telecommunications provider you use.
Other Government bodies (such as the Assessor of Income Tax and public sector housing authorities) are also allowed to provide information to help with benefit fraud investigations.
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.
Losing benefits if you’re convicted of benefit fraud
Some benefits can be reduced or stopped for a period if you’re convicted of benefit fraud. These are called “sanctionable benefits”.
Recovering benefit you’re overpaid through benefit fraud
If you have been overpaid benefit because of something you did or failed to do in connection with your claim you have to pay back the money to us. We are allowed to make deductions from most benefits payable to you to recover the overpaid benefit.
We can only deduct a certain amount from any income-related benefits payable to you. We can also make deductions from any income-related benefit paid to your partner, rather than you, subject to the same limits.