Benefit fraud

Some people claim benefits to which they are not entitled. By doing so they are committing a criminal act.

  • Fraud costs the UK public sector more than £20 billion a year and local councils more than £2 billion.
  • In a time of financial hardship, preventing fraud is more important than ever.
  • Every pound lost through fraud cannot be spent on providing public services.

It is the duty of the Department for Work and Pensions to investigate claimants who they believe are claiming benefit incorrectly and this includes Housing Benefit. A lot of the time they act on information from their own staff or from partner organisations, such as the Council. They also welcome reports from you.

Report a benefit cheat

You can report someone you think is committing benefit fraud to the National Benefit Fraud Hotline. It doesn't matter how you contact them: you do not have to give your name or address.  You do need to give as much information as you can about the person you are reporting, for example, their name, address, the details of the fraud you think they are committing.  They will look at your information but will not be able to tell you the outcome of any investigation. 

Contact them:


Complete the form at  


  • On 0800 854 440. Your call is free and confidential. Lines are open Monday to Friday 8.00am to 6.00pm.
  • By text phone service if you have speech or hearing problems on 0800 328 0512
  • Welsh speakers can call on 0800 678 3722


By writing to the National Benefit Fraud Hotline, Mail Handling Site A, Wolverhampton, WV98 2BP

How people may be committing fraud

  • claimants are working but do not tell us and continue to claim the same benefits
  • a claimant does not tell us about all their income, savings, capital or property
  • claimant tells us they are single but actually lives with a partner
  • claimant does not tell us about other adults living in the property
  • the owner of a property claims they are paying rent, inventing a fictitious landlord and using false rent books and tenancy agreements
  • claiming benefit for an address where they do not live
  • a landlord continues to receive benefit when the claimant has left the premises
  • a tenancy is created where the property would not normally be rented in order to obtain benefit
Last updated: 15 November 2018 16:49:32