EnolaGaia

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A Nigerian politician arrested in connection with benefit fraud in the US has been suspended from his job.
US authorities accuse Mr Rufai of using the stolen identities of more than 100 Washington residents to file fraudulent claims between March and August last year. They say more than $288,000 (£203,000) was deposited into a bank account controlled by him.
More details have surfaced on Rufai's alleged frauds involving unemployment payments in Washington and other US states. More ominously (for him) is the revelation that the IRS wants a piece of him as well.
Feds: Unemployment fraud suspect tried to bilk IRS of $1.6M

A suspended Nigerian government official accused of stealing $350,000 from Washington state as part of a massive pandemic-related fraud also sought to bilk the Internal Revenue Service of nearly $1.6 million, federal prosecutors said Friday.

Abidemi Rufai, 42, was arrested May 14 as he tried to travel from New York to Nigeria. He is accused of using stolen identities to take more than $350,000 from the Washington state Employment Security Department ...

Federal prosecutors in western Washington have been seeking to make sure Rufai remains in custody pending trial ...

On Friday, they filed a letter with U.S. District Judge Benjamin Settle to bolster that argument. It said that in the last few days, IRS criminal investigators have revealed that they have been investigating an email account associated with Rufai for years.

According to the IRS, the email account was used to file 652 fraudulent tax returns, seeking $1.6 million in refunds, from 2016 to 2019.

“The IRS rejected many of the filings, but accepted returns seeking approximately $900,000,” the letter said. ...
FULL STORY: https://apnews.com/article/health-coronavirus-pandemic-e9f9a235b4a4bcea5b878ae1188ebec6
 

EnolaGaia

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A Massachusetts auto repair shop owner has been sentenced on multiple charges of further damaging customers' cars to jack up the amounts their owners' insurance would pay out.
Repair shop owner pleads guilty to insurance fraud charges

A man who used sledgehammers and mallets to further damage customers’ vehicles at the two auto body shops he owned in an effort to cheat insurance companies has pleaded guilty to dozens of charges, prosecutors said.

Adam Haddad, 44, pleaded guilty Tuesday to 18 counts of insurance fraud, 15 counts of larceny by false pretenses, six counts of malicious destruction of property and three counts of attempted larceny, according to the state attorney general’s office.

Haddad, who owned shops in Worcester and Everett, was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in jail, with six months to serve and the remainder suspended with probation. He was also ordered to pay $170,000 in restitution. ...

According to law enforcement, Haddad regularly enhanced damage and caused new damage to customer’s vehicles to falsely inflate appraisal repair quotes. He then kept insurance checks without completing the necessary repairs on the customers’ cars.

Haddad was implicated in part by surveillance video from one of his businesses that showed him using mallets, sledgehammers, and pieces of wood to intentionally dent five vehicles. ...
FULL STORY: https://apnews.com/article/ma-state-wire-insurance-fraud-business-105ee31809c9181e7d8c1fd133977603
 

hunck

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Dad who sued Drayton Manor Park for £1.5m after back injury seen white water rafting

And ends up with a huge legal bill.

A dad who tried to sue for £1.5million after he lied about being ‘crippled’ in a theme park ride accident has been caught white water rafting on holiday.

Richard Walkden, 62, attempted to claim damages from Drayton Manor after a cable car accident left him “unable to bend his back” in 2014.

Unfortunately for Walkden, an eagle-eyed judge threw out his damages claim against the Staffordshire attraction after spotting pictures of him on a South African rafting expedition on social media.

The energy company boss is now facing a £200,000 legal bill after High Court judge Mrs Justice Tipples [sic] overturned the original ruling that had gone in his favour.

Drayton Manor Park Ltd had accepted liability for the accident, but disputed the size of Walken’s 1.5million claim.

Even though the judge found that Walkden should have been entitled to £17,600 compensation - just over one per cent of his original claim - he decided not to grant him a penny due to his “fundamentally dishonest behaviour.”

This means Walkden will have to pick up the bill for Drayton Manor’s legal costs - £200,000 up front, pending full assessment on the final balance, which could run up to “several hundred thousand pounds” according to lawyers.

Anthony Bushell, of Plexus Law, the firm that took the case against Walkden, said: "A forensic investigation of the case and detailed analysis of the medical records, combined with social media profiling, covert surveillance and instruction of highly experienced medical experts meant we were able to evidence to the court that the claimant was bringing a hugely exaggerated and fundamentally dishonest claim.

"This resulted in the claimant receiving nothing other than an order to pay the costs of the entire action."
 

EnolaGaia

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It seems he just can't help himself ... This Texas man was awaiting trial on a major ($2.5 million) cattle scam. He used the down time to launch a separate phony business scam. He's now been nailed and jailed for both.
Everything’s bigger in Texas: Sentence more than doubled for man who ran second fraud while on trial in multimillion-dollar cattle scam

A Texas man had his sentence more than doubled after he was caught running a $12 million invoice fraud while awaiting trial for a separate multimillion-dollar cattle scam.

Stewart Kile Williams, 31, of Sweetwater had pleaded guilty in March to creating a trench-digging service for the oil industry and defrauding a finance company through the use of phony invoices, federal prosecutors said.

Williams was alleged to have run the scam starting in late 2018 until early the following year, while he was out on bond in a cattle scam case in which he was accused of stealing $2.5 million from a ranch through the sale of non-existent cattle.

“They say insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Mr. Williams wasn’t insane, but he was brazen. While on pretrial release for one fraud in south Texas, he had the audacity to perpetrate a similar fraud in north Texas,” said Prerak Shah, the acting U.S. attorney for the northern district of Texas. ...
FULL STORY: https://www.marketwatch.com/story/e...-multi-million-dollar-cattle-scam-11627336349
 

ramonmercado

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I think this best fits here rather than in Cyber Crime . A new sort of twist on identity theft.

On social media, there's a new type of influencer. But instead of promoting clothing lines and lifestyle products, they promote fraud.

They flash stacks of cash, hide their faces, and some even lure new recruits by selling guides on committing fraud. You'd think these scammers and their illegal products would be hard to find, and once upon a time, they were, hidden in the shadows of the dark web. But not any more.

As part of an investigation for BBC Panorama, I discovered just how easy it was to make deals with fraudsters and purchase fraud guides online. I also unmasked one anonymous influencer who has been selling them.

On social, perpetrators of online retail fraud refer to it as "clicking", making it seem more innocuous.

But committing fraud - which is defined by the police-run service Action Fraud as using trickery to gain a dishonest advantage, often financial, over another person - can lead to up to 10 years in prison.

The guides being traded are known as methods. They can target banks, retailers and even the government's Universal Credit system, leaving organisations and members of the public out of pocket.

And they all rely heavily on something known as fullz, slang for full information. These are the personal details of an unconnected person: typically an individual's name, phone number, address and bank details.

With the fullz in hand, fraudsters can follow the steps in the guides to make online purchases or even take out a loan in someone else's name. ...

Panorama: Hunting the Social Media Fraudsters is on BBC One at 19:35 BST on Monday or later on iPlayer

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-58223499
 

charliebrown

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In the U.S. watchdog group for older people like AARP claim scams and frauds have hit epidemic levels against older citizens.

Every day my wife and I get about 6 or 7 scam calls on or cell phones, not to mention ours messaging services get stuff all the time.

You are over due on your student loan.

You are getting arrested for not showing up to court.

You need to change your health insurance immediately.

I am your long lost grandchild needing money.

We need the numbers off your credit card for a bank problem.

Your checking account is overdrawn.

Your PayPal or Amazon account needs money.

It is so bad in the U.S. !!
 

Mythopoeika

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In the U.S. watchdog group for older people like AARP claim scams and frauds have hit epidemic levels against older citizens.

Every day my wife and I get about 6 or 7 scam calls on or cell phones, not to mention ours messaging services get stuff all the time.

You are over due on your student loan.

You are getting arrested for not showing up to court.

You need to change your health insurance immediately.

I am your long lost grandchild needing money.

We need the numbers off your credit card for a bank problem.

Your checking account is overdrawn.

Your PayPal or Amazon account needs money.

It is so bad in the U.S. !!
Once cash is gone, this will get worse.
 

Austin Popper

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I consider those wankers fair game, so I screw with them as much as time and my patience will allow. Many of them are stupid people though, which takes a lot of the fun out of it. Keeping them busy keeps them from contacting as many people as they would if I just hung up though, so I do what I can. Asking them how the weather is in India seems to really piss them off. Demanding they speak English is another good way to trigger them, because they think they sound like your neighbors. Sometimes I just tell them they are pathetic excuses for human beings, that their parents are ashamed of them, and so on.

My social security number is usually 5 or something. I tell them I'm really, really old. Likewise my American Express number: 42. Had it for decades. The car warranty morons don't like hearing about my '53 Studebaker.
 

Lb8535

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In the U.S. watchdog group for older people like AARP claim scams and frauds have hit epidemic levels against older citizens.

Every day my wife and I get about 6 or 7 scam calls on or cell phones, not to mention ours messaging services get stuff all the time.

You are over due on your student loan.

You are getting arrested for not showing up to court.

You need to change your health insurance immediately.

I am your long lost grandchild needing money.

We need the numbers off your credit card for a bank problem.

Your checking account is overdrawn.

Your PayPal or Amazon account needs money.

It is so bad in the U.S. !!
If you're getting these calls on your cell phone there are apps that will screen them for you. I use Hiya, which has a free version, they catch most of them and if you get a scam call, report it to Hiya immediately and they constantly update their information. I get many fewer of them since I began using it. There are also services available for your landline - all of these companies maintain huge databases of bad phone numbers.
 

PeteS

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In the UK we are inundated with scams as well, mostly from Indian call centres. I no longer have the patience to wind the caller up, merely point out that I'm aware it's a scam and press the large red button. We now unplug our home phone, knowing that in an emergency people can contact us on mobiles where any unrecognized numbers get ignored anyway.
 

EnolaGaia

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This alleged scammer netted over $300,000 by filing false lost luggage claims against airlines.
Fraudster Made Over $300,000 From Airlines In Fake Lost Baggage Claims, Prosecutors Allege

A fraudster made over $300,000 by convincing the likes of American Airlines, United and Southwest Airlines that they had lost his luggage on more than 180 occasions. JetBlue and Alaska Airlines also fell victim to Pernell Jones Jr’s fraudulent lost luggage claims over a five year period allege prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Louisiana.

Jones, ... of Kenner, Louisiana, faces a maximum term of 20 years imprisonment, plus a fine of $250,000 after being charged with Mail Fraud and Conspiracy to Commit Mail Fraud, in violation of Title 18 of United States Code, Sections 1341 and 1349.

Court documents that were unsealed late last week reveal that Jones had been submitting fake claims for lost luggage since 2015. He continued racking up hundreds of thousands of dollars in claims until he was eventually caught in March 2020.

The ploy involved Jones booking domestic flights online using pre-loaded gift cards in order to avoid leaving a trace of his real name and address so that he could make bookings using a fictitious identity.

Jones would then fly into or out of Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport using a forged form of identification before claiming the airline had lost his luggage. Prosecutors claim Jones became so brazen in his money-making plot that sometimes he wouldn’t even bother bringing a bag along with him to the airport.

He was still able to obtain a ticket for a checked bag and then file a fake lost luggage claim. Providing airline staff with long lists of high-value items that had been allegedly lost, Jones would submit claims for the maximum reimbursement available for a domestic flight – $3,500.

In total, Jones attempted to claim more than half a million dollars from airlines but managed to get around $300,000 in successful claims. ...
FULL STORY: https://www.paddleyourownkanoo.com/...e-lost-baggage-claims-prosecutors-allege/amp/
 

EnolaGaia

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This Florida woman seems to have been the object of an identity theft / COVID relief funds fraud scheme.
Florida woman got $3.4M COVID grant she never applied for

A Florida gas station employee said she’s listed as receiving a $3.4 million COVID relief check that she never applied for and never received.

Holly Hill resident Amy Williams said she’s stunned that her name and an outdated address ended up in the federal database stating that she received millions in COVID Restaurant Revitalization Funds for a catering business. Williams never applied for the funds, never received any money and has never worked in the restaurant business.

Of the 31 Daytona Beach businesses that received the COVID relief funds, Williams is at the top, allegedly receiving the biggest check for a catering business she does not have, according to the Daytona Beach News-Journal.

And she hasn’t lived at the address listed on the check for roughly eight years, she said. ...

The 44-year-old had been unemployed for three years while battling breast cancer and recently started working at a gas station. She and her husband live with their three children in a modest apartment.

The Small Business Administration declined comment on the mistaken check, saying its Office of Inspector General and the agency’s federal partners are working diligently to resolve fraud incidents.
FULL STORY: https://apnews.com/article/coronavi...-restaurants-b8f3a6435fd646ae742b9e278103d942
 

catseye

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I just received another one of those 'Harold Layton wants to send you a message' Messenger messages. Without acknowledging him, I check the message and it says 'hello'. Now, I guess if I were to reply and start some kind of conversation I would very swiftly be hit with 'I love you - send me money' (slightly more drawn out I suspect, but this, in essence.)

But if I were trying to scam a woman out of her money, I'd at least start with a message that would prompt a reply, In my case a 'I just read your latest book and I would love to know where you got the idea from'. Something that would at least start a conversation. I mean 'hello'? Just that? Is that as far as their imagination is taking them these days?
 

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I just received another one of those 'Harold Layton wants to send you a message' Messenger messages. Without acknowledging him, I check the message and it says 'hello'. Now, I guess if I were to reply and start some kind of conversation I would very swiftly be hit with 'I love you - send me money' (slightly more drawn out I suspect, but this, in essence.)

But if I were trying to scam a woman out of her money, I'd at least start with a message that would prompt a reply, In my case a 'I just read your latest book and I would love to know where you got the idea from'. Something that would at least start a conversation. I mean 'hello'? Just that? Is that as far as their imagination is taking them these days?
Last one of those i got on Messenger i checked the chap’s posts on Facebook and they were all terribly religious. So disappointingly it was probably going to be an attempt to convert me rather than an ‘i love you’ scam. Strangely deflating.
 

brownmane

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I just received another one of those 'Harold Layton wants to send you a message' Messenger messages. Without acknowledging him, I check the message and it says 'hello'. Now, I guess if I were to reply and start some kind of conversation I would very swiftly be hit with 'I love you - send me money' (slightly more drawn out I suspect, but this, in essence.)

But if I were trying to scam a woman out of her money, I'd at least start with a message that would prompt a reply, In my case a 'I just read your latest book and I would love to know where you got the idea from'. Something that would at least start a conversation. I mean 'hello'? Just that? Is that as far as their imagination is taking them these days?
I watched a program regarding scams and the scammers were asked why do the email scams usually have very obvious spelling or grammar errors. The answer was that people who give allowances for "mistakes" such as these, are more gullible and easily led.

A coworker told me that her sister was scammed by phone and coworker was with her while she was on phone. Her sister refused to listen to her telling her to hang up as it was a scam!

It was the "hi grandma. I'm in trouble and need cash transferred to (insert country here) and don't tell anyone in the family" one.
 

Floyd1

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Last one of those i got on Messenger i checked the chap’s posts on Facebook and they were all terribly religious. So disappointingly it was probably going to be an attempt to convert me rather than an ‘i love you’ scam. Strangely deflating.
Don't worry Jane- we all love you!
 

PeteS

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I just received another one of those 'Harold Layton wants to send you a message' Messenger messages. Without acknowledging him, I check the message and it says 'hello'. Now, I guess if I were to reply and start some kind of conversation I would very swiftly be hit with 'I love you - send me money' (slightly more drawn out I suspect, but this, in essence.)

But if I were trying to scam a woman out of her money, I'd at least start with a message that would prompt a reply, In my case a 'I just read your latest book and I would love to know where you got the idea from'. Something that would at least start a conversation. I mean 'hello'? Just that? Is that as far as their imagination is taking them these days?
I had an email recently "Hi Petie , Maria here, long time no see, I've been missing you. Please please get back to me on (link)" Pathetic attempt.
 

PeteS

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catseye

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I had an email recently "Hi Petie , Maria here, long time no see, I've been missing you. Please please get back to me on (link)" Pathetic attempt.
I used to get ones like this years ago, with 'Missing you, look here at these pictures I've got of you...' (I didn't. Nobody with whom I had a kind of 'picture taking' relationship would be missing me...).
 

EnolaGaia

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This story from Washington (state) includes an interesting fact - the most commonly used counterfeit currency used nowadays is movie / theatrical prop money.
King County sheriff warns of counterfeit bills

A Fall City grocery store fell victim to a man using a counterfeit $100 bill Tuesday, according to the King County Sheriff’s Office.

At a Fall City grocery store in the 4200 block of Preston Fall City Road Southeast, a store clerk said a man used a $100 bill to make a $32.03 purchase ...

The man received $67.97 in change.

Later, upon closer examination, the bill said, “For motion picture copy money” across the front and “Motion Picture Use Only” across the back. ...

According to the Secret Service, prop money has become the most commonly used counterfeit money used today. ...
FULL STORY: https://www.kiro7.com/news/local/ki...counterfeit-bills/VFBHMDMCNZFRZHRMYRY3LAAFXE/
 

brownmane

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This story from Washington (state) includes an interesting fact - the most commonly used counterfeit currency used nowadays is movie / theatrical prop money.

FULL STORY: https://www.kiro7.com/news/local/ki...counterfeit-bills/VFBHMDMCNZFRZHRMYRY3LAAFXE/
I find it difficult to figure out what denomination US bills are, without staring at them for about 1/2 minute. Canadian bills at least have colours, though I might not recognize a $100.00 bill. For several years, the $100 CDN bills were not accepted anywhere as they were easily counterfeited. Now we have holographic images and all kinds of interesting little marks embedded into our bills. But do NOT wash and dry!
 

Floyd1

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Not new, but a strange one here;

Robert Hendy-Freegard is a British barman, car salesman, conman and impostor who masqueraded as an MI5 agent and fooled several people to go underground for fear of IRA assassination. Amongst other scams he seduced five women, claiming that he wanted to marry them.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Hendy-Freegard
 

escargot

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Not new, but a strange one here;

Robert Hendy-Freegard is a British barman, car salesman, conman and impostor who masqueraded as an MI5 agent and fooled several people to go underground for fear of IRA assassination. Amongst other scams he seduced five women, claiming that he wanted to marry them.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Hendy-Freegard

There's a fillum being made about him, as indicated in this ineptly-headlined Shropshire Star article -

Barman's bizarre and cruel IRA plot hoax turned in new film

Robert Hendy-Freegard worked as a barman at a pub in a quiet rural market town.
His cunning plans appeared to be far more Johnny English than James Bond in their execution.

Yet somehow Hendy-Freegard managed to not only convince his victims that he was an MI5 agent, he also conned them out of hundreds of thousands of pounds while forcing them to go into hiding for up to a decade.

Now the story of Robert Hendy-Freegard, who was jailed in 2005 for his audacious cons, is being made into a film, with James Norton playing the smooth-talking conman.
 

EnolaGaia

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A US Army veteran collected more than one million dollars in disability benefits before authorities could determine he was no longer - or perhaps never had been - paralyzed by service-related injuries.
Veteran Charged With Fraudulently Obtaining $1M By Allegedly Falsely Claiming To Be Paraplegic

A U.S. Army veteran from Windsor Mill was arrested Thursday for allegedly fraudulently obtaining more than $1 million in Veterans and Social Security Administration benefits by falsely claiming he was a paraplegic, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland.

William Rich, 41, allegedly misrepresented his physical condition in Veterans Administration disability compensation claims, in communications with the VA and during medical examinations while seeking VA disability benefits by claiming he is paralyzed and unable to walk, according to a statement from the office. ...

Rich received $800,000 in VA benefits and more than $240,000 in Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits, the statement alleges. ...

But six weeks after his injuries, Rich made substantial progress toward recovery and no longer was paralyzed, according to the statement. An MRI in August 2005 revealed no spinal cord impingement and that he could move his lower extremities.

A doctor conducting an exam in October 2007 determined Rich was paralyzed, but said he didn’t have access to Rich’s complete claims file, so he couldn’t review the earlier report. Rich then received permanent disability from the VA. ...

The VA’s Office of the Inspector General audited claims in 2018 and learned Rich’s alleged conduct was inconsistent with his purported condition, according to the statement. Special Agents for two years conducted surveillance and saw him walking, going up and down stairs, getting into and out of vehicles, lifting, bending, and carrying items – all without visible limitations or assistance of a medical device ...

The affidavit further alleges the only time the agents saw Rich use a wheelchair was in connection with his medical appointments, particularly five between March 2019 and February 2021. The agents reported seeing Rich load the wheelchair into the trunk of his car before or after a VA medical appointment, using the wheelchair at the appointments or wheeling himself to his car, then loading the wheelchair into the car. ...

Rich’s social media accounts feature photos of him standing in front of a mirror at a gym and videos of him lifting weights, according to the statement. ...

If Rich is convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison for wire fraud and a maximum of 10 years in federal prison for theft of government property. ...
https://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2021...-allegedly-falsely-claiming-to-be-paraplegic/
 

Nosmo King

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A US Army veteran collected more than one million dollars in disability benefits before authorities could determine he was no longer - or perhaps never had been - paralyzed by service-related injuries.

https://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2021...-allegedly-falsely-claiming-to-be-paraplegic/
So Special Agents surveilled him to see if he really was paraplegic, for 2 years! Surely after seeing him walk unaided the first time would be enough evidence that he wasnt paraplegic, I think these Agents need to be investigated for falsely obtaining wages for an unnecessary job!
:p
 

PeteS

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So Special Agents surveilled him to see if he really was paraplegic, for 2 years! Surely after seeing him walk unaided the first time would be enough evidence that he wasnt paraplegic, I think these Agents need to be investigated for falsely obtaining wages for an unnecessary job!
:p
There have been numerous publicised instances of this type of fraud in the UK. Some idiots have posted their physical activities on Facebook, whilst claiming benefits for severe disability. DSS get calls from whistle blowers all the time.
 

Nosmo King

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There have been numerous publicised instances of this type of fraud in the UK. Some idiots have posted their physical activities on Facebook, whilst claiming benefits for severe disability. DSS get calls from whistle blowers all the time.
Indeed, I regularly see programmes were people are found to be scamming the benefits agency or insurers, when there social media is looked at and it shows them, for example, at body building contests or jet skiing on holiday, it just confirms to me that some people are just plain dumb.
 
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