Preventing benefit fraud

We're committed to preventing and detecting benefit fraud.

If you're claiming benefit, it's essential that you report all changes in your circumstances to us, as soon as they occur. You may be committing fraud, for example, if you:

  • fail to tell us that you've started work
  • don't declare capital or income that you have
  • pretend to live on your own when you have a partner living with you
  • move out of a property and don't tell us

Our changes in circumstances page gives more details on how to report such a change.

Where fraud is detected, a range of penalties that may apply:

  • overpayment recovery - you'll have to repay all overpaid benefit
  • loss of benefit - you may lose entitlement to other benefits you're receiving
  • cautions - you may be asked to attend an interview and be formally cautioned
  • penalties - you may have to pay an administrative penalty or fine, as well as repaying any overpaid benefit
  • prosecution - we may prosecute you through the courts

Reporting fraud

If you suspect someone may be abusing the system, you can report your suspicions, in confidence:

  • online at GOV.UK
  • by calling the national fraud hotline on 0800 854440
  • by post to NBFH, PO Box 224, Preston, PR1 1GP

National Fraud Initiative

Fair processing notice

This authority is required by law to protect the public funds it administers. It may share information provided to it with other bodies responsible for; auditing, or administering public funds, or where undertaking a public function, in order to prevent and detect fraud.

For more information can be seen on the National Fraud Initiative page.