Author Topic: Make it a criminal offence to maliciously report someone for benefit fraud.  (Read 7663 times)

lankou

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I would be very grateful if people signed this epetition and disseminated it to as many websites as possible:-
http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/22678
Make it a criminal offence to maliciously report someone for benefit fraud.

Responsible department: Department for Work and Pensions

Given the success rate of the "shop a benefit fraud" hotline is only 0.31%, a large number of people are being maliciously accused of benefit fraud. Such malicious people should be subject the criminal law similar to wasting police time.

Sofie

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Signed. You don't need to use your real name.

Dark_Divinity

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TO my knowledge you don't have to give your name when you are reporting a crime (including benefit fraud), right?

Even if you have to give a name and address you can always make up a fake name and say that your address is a few doors away from when you  actually live. Surely if you are someone who enjoys doing that it would be common sense to make sure it doesn't get linked back to you...

So what you have done to someone (reporting someone maliciously) it will only come back to your door if you are stupid enough to give your details.  I think it would be a good idea in theory to make it a criminal offence but how many people will be caught out and get in trouble for it?
July 2017- Autism Spectrum Condition.

June 2012 -Hypothyroidism.

lankou

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TO my knowledge you don't have to give your name when you are reporting a crime (including benefit fraud), right?


Because of the sheer number of malicious time wasting accusations (the only 0.31% success rate) the fraud investigators will not take much notice of anonymous tip-offs.

Dark_Divinity

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I have signed the petition.

I have put it on another forum.

« Last Edit: November 15, 2011, 04:20:33 PM by Dark_Divinity »
July 2017- Autism Spectrum Condition.

June 2012 -Hypothyroidism.

Sofie

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TO my knowledge you don't have to give your name when you are reporting a crime (including benefit fraud), right?


Because of the sheer number of malicious time wasting accusations (the only 0.31% success rate) the fraud investigators will not take much notice of anonymous tip-offs.

Good idea to make people think twice about reporting people because they don't like them. Have come across many reports of this and it's disgusting.

Hurtyback

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I think it would be very difficult to prove that smeone had acted aliciously - they just need to look innocent and claim that they were obviously mistaken ...

lankou

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I think it would be very difficult to prove that smeone had acted aliciously - they just need to look innocent and claim that they were obviously mistaken ...

The point is to get 100000 signatures so that it gets publicity, (I don't expect to, but someone has to try.)
I suspect far more than 100000 people have been maliciously reported given the millions of phone calls to the shop a cheat benefit hotline over the years and only 0.31% of them having any foundation.

Sofie

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Where does the 0.31% come from, please?

lankou

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Where does the 0.31% come from, please?

Hansard, you will need a calculator:-
http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200607/cmhansrd/cm070323/text/70323w0006.htm

and here:-
http://dizzythinks.net/2007/03/fraudulent-benefit-fraud-figures.html

I would also point out the Department of Work and Pensions would not have allowed the petition if the figure was not accurate.

DarthVector

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Re: Make it a criminal offence to maliciously report someone for benefit fraud.
« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2011, 04:17:39 PM »
Even if people don't give their names and addresses when they maliciously call the hotline, the telecoms companies record the originating and receiving telephone numbers for every call. That information must be held for at least two years by law (originally an anti-terrorism measure).

If the fraud investigators showed up to find a claimant who obviously couldn't even be mistaken for a fraud, they could give the times & dates of the calls to the police, who could then ask a court to order the telecoms company to disclose the names and addresses of the people making the malicious calls.

The only way to avoid being caught that way is to use a payphone that takes cash, but even then, the police could install a surveillance camera next to any payphone that was persistently used for malicious calls.

lankou

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Re: Make it a criminal offence to maliciously report someone for benefit fraud.
« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2011, 07:22:48 PM »
Bump. Only 10 signatures so far, this is pathetic.

DarthVector

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Re: Make it a criminal offence to maliciously report someone for benefit fraud.
« Reply #12 on: November 17, 2011, 10:50:07 AM »
Could be worse. If you click on the last page in the petition list, you'll find an enormously long tail of petitions with precisely one signature each.

Publicity is everything!

lankou

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Re: Make it a criminal offence to maliciously report someone for benefit fraud.
« Reply #13 on: November 17, 2011, 10:58:43 AM »
Could be worse. If you click on the last page in the petition list, you'll find an enormously long tail of petitions with precisely one signature each.

Publicity is everything!

 I have posted a link to the petition on a number of websites where I know there are a large number of people who have fallen foul of being maliciously being reported for fraud and quite frankly I am shocked at the lack of response.

DarthVector

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Re: Make it a criminal offence to maliciously report someone for benefit fraud.
« Reply #14 on: November 17, 2011, 11:18:53 AM »
Well, if you want people to do something, you have to sell it to them, and you have to give them time to respond. Good publicity isn't just about exposure. Expressing shock at the "lack of response" and using words like "pathetic" are unlikely to help your case.