Kent benefit fraud investigations rise

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Benefit fraud investigations in Kent have risen more than threefold in a year, figures have shown.

Just over 2,000 cases were recorded in 2011, rising to 7,500 in 2012.

Part of the increase is attributed to investigators getting more powers to check bank accounts and credit card bills.

Fraud manager Mark Lumsden said a lot of the information came from tip-offs via the National Benefit Fraud Hotline, and from data-matching exercises.

He said: "I suppose it could be the current economic climate, people possibly being driven to that, but a lot of the cases we see is just greed."

In 2012, the government put various measures in place to fight benefit fraud including having dedicated teams checking old claims for potential fraud, and taking fraudsters to court to force them to repay the money.

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