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Experian to check on Benefit Cheats

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  • Experian to check on Benefit Cheats

    From the BBC
    Credit ratings firms are set for a bigger role in tackling the 5.2bn annual cost of benefit cheats and overpayments, David Cameron is to say.

    One firm, Experian, said it was in talks with ministers over a deal which could see it paid according to the number of cheats it uncovers.

    Credit rating firms monitor people's spending patterns on household bills and credit card spending.

    The PM will also outline plans for tougher penalties and more convictions.

    Experian said it already had a contract to scrutinise new housing benefit claimants, in a deal agreed by the previous government which had saved 17m.

    It added that it could undertake a wider commitment which could see it examining claims for other benefits across the UK.

    The company says it could save 1bn if "simple cost-effective and proven fraud prevention techniques" were used across the public sector.

    Ahead of Mr Cameron's speech, Work and Pensions Minister Chris Grayling said credit agencies held "extensive data" which could be used to cut benefit fraud.

    He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "The whole point is that we are introducing, across a number of government activities, payment by results...

    "Government should pay people - outside organisations - when they get the job done."

    Mr Grayling added: "Why should government not use the same tools that are available to independent organisations?"

    He rejected fears over the civil liberties of claimants, saying that only credit rating firms which worked "within the rules" would be considered for contracts.

  • #2
    Re: Experian to check on Benefit Cheats

    OMG that's awful - '' a deal which could see it paid according to the number of cheats it uncovers ''.

    Maybe before the government start usng the damn CRA's they should regulate them properly and make them act half decently first - not just 'within the rules'.

    How can spending on a credit card help define if you are a benefit cheat anyway? Are they going to assume if you have no c/card/loan default debts you must be getting money from somewhere ? I don't really understand how it is meant to work. And surely benefit 'cheats' are off the radar anyway ?

    Don't give the CRA's more power to destroy people ffs.

    Any support I provide is offered without liability, if you are unsure please seek professional legal guidance.

    Received a Court Claim? Read >>>>> First Steps


    • #3
      Re: Experian to check on Benefit Cheats

      Oh, aye. And all the data the CRA's hold is 100% accurate of course.

      I wonder how many suicides we'll see as a result of their chsing the wrong people? It already happens with consumer debt, and now we're expected to believe they'll get it right with benefit cheats.

      Oh aye, HIGHLY feckin likely.
      My Blog


      • #4
        Re: Experian to check on Benefit Cheats

        I already know thats its used by a council to "discover" housing benefit cheats.

        Thought it was illegal for local gov to search credit files? but no doubt a clause somewhere will allow it.

        I thought I knew something, but now I know nothing


        • #5
          Re: Experian to check on Benefit Cheats

          Discussion on Jeremy Vine programme on Radio 2 now.

          Apparently they are going to use the Electoral Register too, yeah right and everybody bills that form in don't they.


          • #6
            Re: Experian to check on Benefit Cheats

            Well I am sure my credit file will prove that my finances are shot to hell, I haven't looked of course because that act alone would bring forth phishing letters from DCA's.

            This may catch some desperate small fry and tip them over the edge.

            The professional cheats will still get untraceable cash in hand which never passes through the banking system at all.
            Scottish Wildcat Association, conserving Scotland's critically endangered wild felines


            • #7
              Re: Experian to check on Benefit Cheats

              This is going to a shame akin to the goings on at ATOS Healthcare.
              If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of payments.



              • #8
                Re: Experian to check on Benefit Cheats

                Originally posted by sapphire View Post
                Apparently they are going to use the Electoral Register too, yeah right and everybody bills that form in don't they.
                i can see it now "Register to vote now or you dont get benefits, citizen."... lets hope that in another 10 years we dont have "you voted for the wrong party citizen, no benefits for you" - or equally as worse, compulsory voting like was talked about at the last election.

                Id imagine the point of using the CRA's to check benefit fraud would be so the government have easy access to peoples bank account and savings balances, AFAIK your accounts and balances are logged with the CRA's.

                Theres also the point of checking how much people pay out in debts - if your monthly payments total more than the income you say you have to the benefits people, then thats likely going to set off an alarm (though that will be hilarious as the CRAs work month or so behind: "yes mr shamen, sorry you were made redundant last week, heres your JSA this month. Oh wait, we see you paid 400 pounds off your debts last month, you must have income so lets just cancel this JSA payment.")

                On the plus side of this, if the government use the CRAs and actually find it generates more dissatisfaction and complaints from voters, the government isnt know for backing down from an idea at the first few hurdles - so its possible they would step in and formally regulate the CRA's
                Advice given is offered as personal opinion only. I always recommend you seek professional legal advice.

                Negative, I am a meat popsicle


                • #9
                  Re: Experian to check on Benefit Cheats

                  Given that the DCA's can only report how you have conducted your financial affairs in the past then this must mean that this unelected mob will give them permission to poke around in your bank accounts?. Cheats exist in all walks of life but we should not tar all benefit recipients with the same brush. Look at MP's and Farmers are they all crooks?. Noting that up to now all negative policies by this unelected mob have been directed at the poorer sections of society I wonder how long before a revamp of the CCA with the repeal of CCA 1974??.


                  • #10
                    Re: Experian to check on Benefit Cheats

                    CAB, are not too pleased about this!

                    There will also be issues re: the DPA...

                    My own experiences with Experian, is that it is a constant battle to make sure that the data being processed is correct;
                    Experian, appear not to validate information being processed, preferring rather to take the word of DCA's and Banks, who often make huge mistakes.

                    Many, have to log complaints with the ICO, in order to rectify errors;
                    the ICO, can take up to 18 months to complete their investigations.


                    • #11
                      Re: Experian to check on Benefit Cheats

                      Lets just get them to stop this bloody financial inclusion process.

                      Any support I provide is offered without liability, if you are unsure please seek professional legal guidance.

                      Received a Court Claim? Read >>>>> First Steps


                      • #12
                        Re: Experian to check on Benefit Cheats

                        Here is a link to the full article:



                        Norman Smith Chief political correspondent, BBC Radio 4
                        Cracking down on benefit cheats is one of the hardy perennials of modern politics. Almost all governments promise to do it - and earn themselves glowing headlines in the process.
                        But actually recouping money fraudulently claimed is much harder than simply talking tough about it.
                        In part this is because of the sheer complexity of the system; in part because there are so many claimants. Nearly 5m people are on out of work benefits.
                        Critics also point out that the actual level of fraud is comparatively small. Only about 1% of all benefits are fraudulently claimed. Indeed more money is lost through administrative error than benefit fraud.
                        The only real way to significantly reduce the benefits bill is to get people back into work.
                        The difficulty, as most experts in this field agree, is that in the short term this actually costs money rather than saves it.


                        • #13
                          Re: Experian to check on Benefit Cheats

                          Benefits fraudsters are a problem, but as Amethyst stated:
                          "surely benefit 'cheats' are off the radar anyway ?"

                          Therefore, not sure how this will solve the problem?

                          In reality, a better plan would be to get these people back to work. Many, of which have grown up with the culture of not working and claiming benefit;
                          change the culture;
                          put some proper funding in place;
                          give these people a reason to try; better themselves.

                          For the avoidance of doubt, I am not having a dig at those who have lost their jobs, just those who do not want to work.


                          • #14
                            Re: Experian to check on Benefit Cheats

                            Ahhh you'll like this then Angrycat DWP Welfare consultation - 21st Century - Legal Beagles Consumer Forum

                            Benefit cheats (ooo iffy subject but I'll go with it a minute lol) arent always peeps who set out to defraud the state, quite a lot I would think fell into it because the system is so damn rubbish that working just doesnt cover what you were getting on benefits and if you inform them of any change in circumstances you are screwed for a daft amount of time with no money whatsoever, so the next time, you dont report until you are sorted out, then it carries on, and on... etc. That needs changing, big time! Then the figures will fall below the 1%.

                            Any support I provide is offered without liability, if you are unsure please seek professional legal guidance.

                            Received a Court Claim? Read >>>>> First Steps


                            • #15
                              Re: Experian to check on Benefit Cheats

                              See he got found out, without the help of Experian too and he would be from up our end pmsl

                              Jazz dancer who claimed 20,000 in disability benefits walks free from court

                              Published by Jon Land for 24dash.com in Communities

                              Wednesday 4th August 2010 - 12:58pm Jazz dancer who claimed 20,000 in disability benefits walks free from court

                              A 61-year-old jazz dancer who fraudulently claimed nearly 20,000 in disability benefits walked free from court today.
                              Terence Read said he was crippled by arthritis and barely able to walk but his condition improved following a hip replacement operation.
                              He failed to notify the change in his circumstances to the Department for Work and Pensions and officials later covertly filmed him dancing enthusiastically at a swing music night after receiving an anonymous tip-off that he was wrongly claiming Disability Living Allowance.
                              Read, of Blackley, Manchester, was caught on camera gliding across the dancefloor and spinning his dance partner around while being cheered on by crowds of onlookers at an event in his home city.
                              Sentencing Read at Manchester Crown Court, Judge Rudland told him that in his case public interest was not served by imposing a custodial sentence.
                              He was given a 12-month community order and ordered to complete 120 hours of unpaid work.
                              The court heard that Read had legitimately claimed for benefits for 10 years from March 1995.

                              He suffered arthritis from the age of 25 and in the early 1990s he was virtually housebound.

                              However, the operation on his left leg provided "instant relief" and proved such a success he was able to take an interest in his new hobby.

                              He illegally continued to claim Disability Living Allowance between June 2005 and December 2008 to the tune of 19,915.

                              Judge Rudland told him: "You learned to live frugally and contentedly, going out rarely, until the dancing came into your life, which seemed to transform your joie de vivre.

                              "There is absolutely no suggestion you are a shirker who has avoided work.

                              "It is agreed that the sad fact is you were afflicted by arthritis from as young an age as 25 when most people are enjoying life with an abundance of vigour.

                              "In your mid to late 40s you were assessed as being eligible for the appropriate benefits. A time came when you undertook a hip replacement operation which had a significant impact on your mobility.

                              "Your life opened up because of the dancing and interest in the swing music of the '40s, which has a considerable following, and you became an accomplished performer on public display.

                              "I suspect over time the claim being made went to the back of your mind and it was something you took for granted.

                              "Your case was genuine at the start and then drifted into dishonesty.

                              "It is not in the public interest that you should be deprived of your liberty. You are doing good work by taking the activity (swing music) into care homes, that brings some pleasure and therapy into lives as a result of the commitment you make in that way."

                              Read, of Northwold Drive, has paid back 3,000 of the money owed and a plan is in place to settle the remainder.

                              The court was told that Read also claimed housing and council tax benefit during the three-and-a-half year fraudulent period but faced no charges on those matters because he was already entitled to them.
                              Jonathan Rogers, prosecuting, said the defendant stated in 1995 that he used a walking stick and could only walk short distances before suffering extreme pain.

                              He needed help getting out of bed and would lose his balance and fall up to three times a day.

                              Mr Rogers said: "It appeared that the defendant had an operation on his hip, following which his condition improved greatly and he was able to carry out normal and energetic day-to-day activities.

                              "The operation was in 2003 and the defendant said his activity and mobility improved within two years.

                              "Inquiries carried out by the Department for Work and Pensions has indicated that since at least 2005 the defendant has been organising and running dance events or swing nights at various locations in the Greater Manchester area."

                              Video surveillance played in the courtroom showed Read carrying a set of heavy speakers from a van into a property and also dancing energetically
                              - dressed in suit and hat - with a female partner at one of his events.

                              When interviewed by the DWP, he initially denied any dishonesty and refused to comment on the surveillance.

                              He pleaded guilty last month on his scheduled trial date to failing to notify the change in circumstances.

                              David James, defending, said his client is still affected by arthritis and before the operation had essentially been unable to move his left leg.

                              He said the dance evenings were not a weekly event and Read went through the pain barrier as he suffered discomfort in the following days.

                              Read's love of swing music had led to him wanting to share his enthusiasm by playing tunes in care homes.

                              "He is a proud man who has been humbled by his fallibility," he said.

                              "His past was not a life, it was more of an existence.

                              "The interest in this case has been quite a significant punishment. It is difficult to walk and hold his head high now."
                              Minister for welfare reform Lord Freud said: "It's cases like these that show us why welfare reform is needed.

                              "We have a duty to the taxpayer and our customers to make sure that these vital benefits only go to those who need them.

                              "Benefit fraud takes money away from the most vulnerable. It is a crime and we are committed to stopping it by catching criminals at the frontline and making sure our reforms make the benefit system less open to abuse."


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