DWP launches £510m fund to tackle benefit fraud

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has launched a new £510m fund to target fraudsters lying about their benefit claims.

The government said the money will be used to improve the department’s “capability and capacity” to detect and deter benefit fraud.

As part of the crackdown, 2,000 trained specialists will review claims by carrying out property checks, following up earning declarations of self-employed claimants and cross-checking bank details.

Government action to tackle organised crime groups seeking to exploit support during the pandemic has prevented at least £1.9bn in benefits from being paid to people trying to scam the system, DWP estimates suggest.

Secretary of State at the DWP, Thérèse Coffey, commented: “Investing in measures to fight fraud protects honest taxpayers’ money and stops criminals funding their illicit activities off the back of our welfare system.

“We know the characteristics of a suspicious claim. This half a billion-pound cash injection is a clear message to fraudsters and criminal gangs. Anyone trying to con us will get caught out.”

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