Thursday, October 22, 2015
Think twice before you consider claiming social services benefits you’re not entitled to.
That is the warning from Atlantic County Executive Dennis Levinson who said approximately 200 cases of welfare fraud were identified between January and September of this year representing slightly more than half of the applications received in the county offices of Family and Community Development.
In just the past six months, May 1 to October 1, 2015, the county’s fraud investigators identified $268,414.42 in fraudulently claimed funds.
“Atlantic County will not tolerate fraud. We will take every measure to ensure that those who attempt to bilk the system are caught and punished,” stated County Executive Dennis Levinson. “The message is clear. If your intention is to scam the system, you’re in the wrong county.”
Investigators most commonly found discrepancies and misrepresentations in the reporting of household income, household composition (number of family members residing in same household) and residency (claiming to live somewhere they don’t) on applications submitted for benefits or recertification of benefits.
“I credit the dedicated staff for preserving the integrity of our public assistance programs,” added Levinson. “With so many residents truly in need we won’t tolerate the misuse of funding intended for their benefit.”
Levinson encourages anyone who suspects fraud to contact the Atlantic County Fraud Tip Hotline at 1-800-FRAUD 05 (1-800-372-8305). All tips will remain confidential and anonymous.