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FEELING THE PINCH IS NO EXCUSE TO COMMIT BENEFIT FRAUD -  CALL THE HOTLINE AND HELP STOP A FRAUDSTER
Posted: 01 August 2012 01:30 PM  
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Financial hardship is no excuse for claiming benefits you are not entitled to, benefit officials have warned, as they encourage Brits who suspect a fraudster to call the hotline in Spain.

Whether you live in Spain or the UK there’s no avoiding the current economic crisis but taxpayers’ money should go to those who need it most, not to a small percentage of Brits who have chosen to fund a life in Spain at the UK taxpayer’s expense.

Call the benefit fraud hotline 900 554 440

That’s why the Department for Work and Pensions is promoting the benefit fraud hotline in Spain – and asking people who suspect they know a cheat to call 900 554 440.

The vast majority of people who claim benefits do so honestly and are sick and tired of putting up with the small minority who don’t.  The benefit fraud hotline in Spain is there so   that people can do their bit to make sure something is done about the small percentage of fraudsters. Shockingly, it’s estimated that benefit fraud abroad costs UK taxpayers 43 million pounds per year - and Spain ranks as one of the top destinations for benefit thieves.

One rogue claimant who wrongly thought Spain was a safe haven to commit benefit fraud was Ronald Bunce. He had been claiming Income Support and Housing and Council Tax benefit since 1991 however a change in his circumstances in 2007 and his failure to declare these changes meant he eventually fell foul of the law.

An anonymous allegation led Work and Pensions investigators to discover that Mr. Bunce was not quite as strapped for cash as he made out. In 2007, following the death of his mother in 2004, he sold her property in Ealing, west London, for a handsome sum of £350,000 but failed to declare his newfound wealth to benefit officials.  Further investigations revealed that he went on to buy a quarter of a million pound property in the UK, as well as a Spanish villa complete with swimming pool in the Mazarrón area of Murcia, which he was renting out to holidaymakers for as much as €500 per week.

Not only was Mr. Bunce stealing from the British taxpayer since the change in his circumstances in 2007, but on top of that he had selfishly been using his council property for storage purposes, depriving another family really in need of housing.

In April Mr. Bunce was sentenced at Isleworth Crown Court in London to an immediate nine months’ in prison for his actions to defraud the public purse.

There are probably many more cases like this out there. That’s why Department for Work and Pensions is asking anyone who suspects others of committing benefit fraud whilst living in Spain to call the free and confidential Benefit Fraud hotline in Spain on 900 554 440 or submit a report online at: https://secure.dwp.gov.uk/benefitfraud/ .

The system is completely anonymous and you don’t need to give your name and details, but the more information you can give about the alleged fraudster, the easier it is for officials to identify the person and investigate the case.

Benefit fraud includes someone claiming a benefit which is only available to UK residents, such as income support or pension credit, or someone claiming a benefit as a single person but living with a partner. You can find more information on benefits and which ones can and cannot be received whilst living in Spain at http://www.direct.gov.uk.

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British Embassy, Madrid.

Promoting British Interests in Spain with Commitment, Consistency and Confidence.

http://www.ukinspain.fco.gov.uk

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Posted: 01 August 2012 06:27 PM  
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Deleted…

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Posted: 01 August 2012 06:52 PM  
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UKinSpain - 01 August 2012 01:30 PM

Shockingly, it’s estimated that benefit fraud abroad costs UK taxpayers 43 million pounds per year

Shockingly, it’s estimated that the annual cost to the UK of tax fraud is 15 billion pounds per year.
Perhaps everyone should be calling the Tax Evasion Hotline instead.
Here is the number: +44 0800 788 887

Or perhaps you would rather concentrate on the little man than on large corporations?

Personally, I think that anyone who comes onto a forum asking others to report their neighbours, rather than doing the legwork themselves, is rather like someone who comes on here expecting forum members to do a Google search for them.
Expecting everyone to do their work for them.

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Posted: 01 August 2012 07:25 PM  
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Zania if you read the post called BENEFIT FRAUD .... not Tax Evasion ....

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Posted: 01 August 2012 09:54 PM  
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Irony a bit too subtle for you Jurdy?

Zania’s reply is right on the button; one has only to look at the hyped up commercialisation behind the 2012 Olympics to realise that the very corruption that the OP refers to starts right at the top. 

Sorry but a forum such as this is no place for the UK government to be pushing it Shop Your Neighbour routine; it’s is way out of line with this post.

Shop your neighbour?

Big Society? = Big Brother = UK Stasi….

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Posted: 06 August 2012 02:35 AM  
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Oh yes, creepy government account - I’d like to shop someone!

His name is M*** A*******. (DOB: 4/3/46), and he’s involved in siphoning the profits a dodgy used car auction company overseas. He claims to be a “Baron” too. Definitely illegal. Someone should do something about him.

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Posted: 06 August 2012 12:08 PM  
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Ohnoes…

I have edited your post to remove the name… and to protect the forum.

Someone should do something about him.

Given that the ‘Times’ and Rupert Murdoch sued the aforementioned ‘gentleman’ for libel (and lost btw), he wouldn’t think twice about similarly suing an individual and / or this forum. I think you will find that the links between said ‘gentleman’ and the ‘dodgy used car auction company’ are also, at best, tenuous these days given that the owners of the company are Samuel Montagu & Co merchant bank which itself is part of HSBC…

At least the said ‘gentleman’ has admitted quite openly that he is not domiciled in the UK for tax purposes… and hence begs the question…

Should he be in the House of Lords?

Definitely not, but then neither should at least 50% of the other incumbents… it’s high time the upper house was disbanded anyway.

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Posted: 06 August 2012 12:24 PM  
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please no name are i deleete all post , this is about “BENEFIT FRAUD” and nothing eles  

this problem is going on across the EU not just UK , happen here in spain aswell .....

if want report some for tax fraud please get in touch with http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/tax-evasion/hotline.htm

Jurdy

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Posted: 06 August 2012 02:10 PM  
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Jurdy…

Depending on one’s point of view the original post could almost be construed as offensive SPAM…

Zania and I had a long discussion about the original post before she posted her reply; I was all in favour of deleting the thread completely.

The same post has been made across many UK expat forums and almost universally has been denounced by members of these forums.

Since you are somewhat higher up in the spainexpat food chain please feel free to delete the entire thread whenever you feel like it; as I said earlier UK Government propaganda has no place on this forum.

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Posted: 06 August 2012 02:22 PM  
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its forum wich any one can post on , even if the British Embassy , but poeple who post here have stay inside the rules .  If its construed as offensive , SPAM and so on
yes will delete .... and could lead to full time ban .... OhNoes your post was edited and remove the name

thanks

Jurdy

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Posted: 06 August 2012 02:45 PM  
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People:

I agree with Jur.  Freedom of speech and all that.
Provided posters stay within the rules.  I’ve seen worse posts. 

Patricia

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Posted: 14 August 2012 01:02 AM  
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Now, here’s a thought.  All the latter-day Alf Garnetts are mouthing off (what’s new!) about how ALL the immigrants in the U.K. are receiving benefits fraudulently, while the poor old “real Englishman/woman” gets turned down.  Obviously, these knowledgeable folk must have a list of ALL the immigrants, know who they are, where they live, and could thus provide the much needed information required by the authorities.  Just think of ALL the money the U.K. authorities could recoup.

Problem is, the vitriolic Alf Garnetts are making it all up, and know nothing about anything.  The pity of it is that they are in Spain, where they also know ALL about the shortcomings of the country, the remedies needed, how the judicial system could be reformed….I ask myself how is it that the U.K. government has overlooked these geniuses..

Patricia

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Posted: 16 August 2012 07:19 AM  
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C ^ lo!!!!!

I am all for benefit fraudsters being brought to book, but I do find it rather offensive that the Brit Consulate come here asking for our help, when they refuse to help US in a crisis. (My personal experience.)  Don’t know how they can justify the high passport charge here when they say it is to HELP… not!!!

BTW: Maybe the new residency rulings here in Spain may catch a few out.. when they put on their form, ‘Proof of income’ - ‘Unemployment/Sickness Benefit - UK’ etc wink lol!

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Posted: 19 August 2012 12:09 PM  
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Well said Susan - totally spot on !!!

Regards,

Andrea

susanspain - 16 August 2012 07:19 AM

C ^ lo!!!!!

I am all for benefit fraudsters being brought to book, but I do find it rather offensive that the Brit Consulate come here asking for our help, when they refuse to help US in a crisis. (My personal experience.)  Don’t know how they can justify the high passport charge here when they say it is to HELP… not!!!

BTW: Maybe the new residency rulings here in Spain may catch a few out.. when they put on their form, ‘Proof of income’ - ‘Unemployment/Sickness Benefit - UK’ etc wink lol!

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Posted: 23 August 2012 01:48 AM  
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Do the consulates refuse to help citizens of the country they represent?
Passports are expensive.  Irish passports are expensive too…...

Patricia

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Posted: 23 August 2012 05:18 AM  
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Patricia..
If you go to the UK Govt website - Madrid/Malaga consulate - there is a whole page on what they ‘Cannot do’ for you.

I understand if a person has committed a crime abroad, then they are bound by the rules of the country and at the mercy of the local judicial system. If however, the Consulate offer a list of ‘English speaking lawyers’ etc… then shouldn’t they vet at the very least these people who will be taking money off you? They also say what they ‘can’ do is to advise on local judicial procedure.. however, when I approached them for help on this particular matter - I was given the brush off.

Likewise, and I know it is a difficult issue (too many variables to go into here).. When someone finds themselves stranded abroad (may/not be their fault), the UK Govt will not* fund a flight home to be refunded once back in Blighty.
There are so many things they ‘Cannot’ do (read will not IMO), that I think it is poor value for money on the passport renewal when done in Spain. (Double the price of doing it in the UK.)


* The Royal British Legion HAVE helped many (Ex service personnel) who did not have the funds to get back to UK - where at least they might have a chance of starting again. My hats’ off to them! (Esp as it is a one off ‘benefaction’ and no refund is sought!)

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