Data from online trading site eBay.com.au has helped Australia’s Government welfare agency, Centrelink, catch out social security recipients who are not declaring big profits from internet sales. Centrelink has cleverly compared its payment records with the activity of nearly 20,000 people who are running profitable eBay businesses.
The government agency identified 25 people who must repay close to $AU900,000 in welfare payments they weren’t entitled to. Centrelink general manager Hank Jongen said some matters had been referred to the director of public prosecutions, but no charges have yet been laid.
Welfare fraud costs Australia more than $AU600 million a year, the Australian Institute of Criminolgy – AIC – says welfare fraud is difficult to measure because it falls outside the two main crime measures of incidents reported to police and victim experience surveys. The AIC says the UK department responsible for social welfare estimated in 2009 that more than two percent of all benefit expenditures, or £3 billion a year, was fraudulently claimed :: Read the full article »»»»