28/06/2004

Ad campaign warns benefits fraudsters to think twice

A new campaign is warning benefit fraudsters to think twice before they try and cheat the system.

New adverts featuring former James Bond villain Stephen Berkoff will warn people that the government is serious about cracking down on benefit fraud.

Investigators have the power to put suspected fraudsters under surveillance and can turn up unannounced at their workplace.

Benefit cheats steal £2 billion of public money every year - £80 for every family in Britain.

Anti-fraud Minister Chris Pond said: "We've already cut fraud in Income Support and Jobseekers Allowance by 38% so we're on course to hit our target of cutting fraud in half by 2006. But we need help from the public to get there."

He urged people who know someone who's committing benefit fraud to call the national benefit fraud hotline in confidence on 0800 854440. Lines are open between 7am and 11pm seven days a week and reports can also be made online.

(gmcg)

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