Tip-offs from the public about welfare cheats have helped the Government identify more than $100 million worth of fraudulent claims since 2013.
The willingness of Australians to report those doing the wrong thing demonstrates the high-level of community support for the Government’s ongoing efforts to crack down on fraud. In the last five years, half a million Australians have contacted the Department of Human Services to dob-in suspected fraudsters.
So far this financial year, the Department has received nearly 80,000 tip-offs, about 2000 a week, with more than $18 million in debts being raised. Since 2013, more than 400 tip-off cases have been referred to the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions. About 70 of these were from this financial year.
The cases include a Queenslander who used multiple identities to fraudulently obtain over $160,000 in fraudulent welfare benefits, and a Tasmanian who falsely claimed $150,000 in single parent benefits, while actually married.
Australia has a generous social safety net that helps people who genuinely need it. However, if someone receives a benefit they are not entitled to, the Government has a responsibility to recover these amounts.
A range of recent efforts has resulted in more than $1.5 billion in overpayments being identified.
People are able to provide tip-offs in a number of ways, including telephone, online, email, letters, and via direct contact at a Department of Human Services’ Service Centre.
For more information, or to report someone you suspect is committing welfare fraud go to humanservices.gov.au/fraud, or call the Fraud Tip-Off Line on 131 524.