Experian and benefit fraud

Roland Perry lists at internetpolicyagency.com
Thu Aug 12 10:38:27 BST 2010

In article 
<AANLkTinpYmSTh7OVYniVyAwdWcDkfsTD0__9LTKr33vJ at mail.gmail.com>, Tony 
Naggs <tony.naggs at googlemail.com> writes
>I expect in the first place that reference to these agencies would be 
>made as part of a benefits fraud investigation rather than pro forma 
>for every claimant.

I read it as more routine than that.

>E.g. to check whether the claimant has applied for credit cards or loans during
>the period of their benefits claim, perhaps giving an emloyer's address in the

You'd only find out the information on the application form by asking 
the lender, not Experian. But I suppose that if new credit card 
applications show up on Experian, it would be a place to start.

But being on benefits isn't supposed to be bankrupcy-lite. Plenty of 
people legitimately on benefits lead perfectly ordinary lives, which can 
include things like applying for storecards (which if used carefully can 
save money), and "interest free" and "no payments for 12 months" HP 
agreements on basic/essential household items like a fridge.

>Or as part of an investigation into whether a claimant may be sharing
>a property with someone who is emloyed, which could invalidate their claim for
>Housing Benefit.

That's a more fruitful area, although it requires looking up the 
employment status of someone other than the claimant, which sounds a bit 
dodgy. There's also a problem with records being out of date, so if a 
claimant moves into a house that's just been vacated by an employed 
person, you'll get a false positive.
Roland Perry

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