Your social media and bank accounts could be monitored during DWP’s summer anti-fraud campaign

The government has announced its intention to step up its crackdown on welfare scammers this summer, with closer scrutiny of claimants’ spending and lifestyles. Despite the crackdown, fraud and error have already decreased, according to figures from the Department for Works and Pensions.

Fraud remains in some respects the most pervasive crime in the country. It accounts for almost 40 per cent of crimes committed and affects one in 15 Brits every year. However, benefit fraud is declining, with the latest national statistics confirming that fraud and error rates have fallen over the last year.

In 2023, fraud and error fell from 4 per cent (£8.3bn) to 3.6 per cent (£8.7bn) after hitting an all-time high during the pandemic, with Universal Credit losing to fraud and Errors also fell from 14.7 percent to 12.8 percent over the same period, the Daily Record reports.

READ MORE: Two-hour rescue began after a 28-year-old woman fell at a beauty site

Anti-Fraud Minister Tom Pursglove, MP, said: “Benefit fraud is never a victimless crime, which is why it is absolutely right that we prevent money from going to scammers and serious crime groups who want to exploit the system – and to instead people get paid.” Who needs it?

“Fighting fraud meets the Prime Minister’s priorities, lowering our national debt and helping curb inflation by protecting taxpayers’ hard-earned money.”

“Thanks to our prevention work and vigorously prosecuting fraudsters who use the full range of our powers to show that crime doesn’t pay, we’re beginning to see fraud and error rates trending in a positive direction.”

Signage for the Department for Work and Pensions (Image: PA Wire/PA Images)

Those receiving benefits or their pension from the Department for Works and Pensions (DWP) could face closer scrutiny this summer. (Image: South Wales Echo) Definitions of fraud, applicant error and administrative error


the conditions for eligibility or the amount of benefit paid are not met, it can be assumed that the claimant is aware of the impact on their entitlement. The benefit payment is suspended or reduced as a result of the applicant’s verification error

Official error

Beneficiaries could scrutinize their social media activities as part of new plans to stop benefit fraud (Image: Yui Mok/PA Wire) Common examples of benefit fraud

Feigning illness or injury to receive unemployment or disability benefits

Failure to declare earnings from a business or employment to give the impression that earnings are lower than they actually are

Living with someone who contributes to the household income without declaring that income to the authorities

Falsifying accounts to make it appear that a person has less money than they say they have

What happens during a DWP investigation?

The most common types of evidence

Inspector reports of surveillance activities

photos or videos

audio recordings


Financial data, including bank statements

Interviews with you or people you know

any evidence presented by those who reported you

What happens if I am reported to the DWP in error?