7 Sep 2015

'Abroad fraud' still over 5% of total benefit fraud!

Expat benefit fraudsters cost Britons nearly £67 million last year, reports the Daily Mail.

Scams include people going abroad but failing to declare their absence, failing to admit to owning property overseas, and working while claiming sickness benefits.

Swindlers have even posed as dead relatives to claim benefits on their behalf.

A fraud-busting team from the Department for Work and Pensions has followed up more than 1,000 tip-offs from its bases in Madrid and Alicante.

So far, it has reduced benefit fraud abroad by a third, down from £101 million in three years.

It was reported as £84m in 2012-13 - see here.

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith said: ‘We are committed to reducing this further. These benefit swindlers are stealing money meant to support some of the most vulnerable people in society.’

The government likes to talk up the amount of 'abroad fraud', but to talk down the overall benefit fraud total. Put the two numbers together, and claimed 'abroad fraud' is still over 5% of all benefit fraud!

As we said before, how likely is that, considering the small number of overseas claimants relative to the overall total?

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