Benefit fraud

Most people on benefits are honest, but benefit fraud still costs millions of pounds every year. It’s important to make sure benefits only go to those who are entitled to them.  

Report suspected benefit fraud

You can report suspected benefit fraud to GOV.UK (DWP). You can use their online form or you can phone 0800 854 440 Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm. You don’t have to give your name if you don’t want to. The more information you can give about the person and why you suspect them, the easier it is for the DWP to investigate.

What happens if you commit benefit fraud

If you commit benefit fraud you might be fined or taken to court as well as having to pay back any fraudulently claimed Housing Benefit or Council Tax reduction. You might go to prison if the case is serious. You can find out more at GOV.UK – Benefit Fraud.

If you have forgotten to tell us about a change that might affect your benefits, you must tell us straight away.  See change of circumstances.

Types of benefit fraud

The following all count as types of benefit fraud:

  • not declaring a partner who lives in the property either some or all of the time
  • not declaring all income, jobs or wages
  • claiming benefit after moving out of a property
  • not telling us about savings or other property owned
  • pretending to have to pay rent
  • not telling us about other people in the property

There are many other types of fraud.  To avoid committing benefit fraud you must tell us straight away if anything changes that may affect your claim. See change of circumstances.

Page last reviewed: 27 February 2024