Jersey

Islanders in Jersey asked to report benefit thieves

The Social Security department has launched new measures to help tackle benefit fraud.

It wants people to inform the department of anyone who may be deliberately making false claims.

The department said these new measures will send out a clear message that benefit cheats will not be tolerated.

The social security minister said: "We are targeting high-risk groups so we can help them focus on making sure their claims are correct.

Three new jobs

Deputy Ian Gorst said: "If a claim does not accurately reflect a person's circumstances it can often result in a build-up of over-payments, which will have to be paid back."

Islanders are encouraged to call a free phone hotline (0800 735 1111) or use an online form to report benefit thieves.

The department said those who are discovered to be deliberately making false benefit claims could be faced with having to pay back any excess benefit, having their benefit stopped or reduced and, in some cases, civil action or even criminal prosecution.

As a result of the campaign, three new jobs have been created in the department's fraud team.

Their roles will involve visiting the homes of people who claim benefits to check that their circumstances are consistent with the claims they have submitted.

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