The charity Crimestoppers Has joined forces with the Department for Work and Pensions to crack down on benefit fraud.

Not only was benefit fraud the third most worried about crime according to a Crimestoppers' survey, it also cost each of us £765 a year says research from the NFA 2011 Fraud Indicator.

Dave Cording, the Deputy Chief Executive of Crimestoppers said:

'We are very glad to help stop benefit fraud in this national campaign, as part of our ongoing efforts to help fight crime together with the police and communities. Benefit fraud forces honest taxpayers to pay more, takes money away from those who genuinely need it, and exploits others' honesty. Crimestoppers callers who pass on information about benefit fraud are driven by the unfairness they witness of those claiming benefits dishonestly whilst being healthy and capable of working. We don't accept excuses for other crimes, so let's not accept them for benefit fraud – it’s not a victimless crime, and it hurts those in genuine need of financial help. The taxpayer is stung twice, as those dishonestly claiming often end up in court, costing us more in time and money.'

Benefits and tax credit fraud costs the country an estimated £1.6 billion a year and the Minister for Welfare Reform, Lord Freud, said 'This money is intended to help those most in need not line the pockets of criminals.'

Lord Freud also said that the government would also be reforming the system to make it less open to abuse in the first place.

Anyone who has any information about people they suspect of committing benefit fraud should contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or use their Giving Information Form.

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