Department of Social Welfare to search social media websites for benefit cheats – – Our News, Your Views

Department of Social Welfare to search social media websites for benefit cheats

The Department of Social Welfare have said that they currently have a group of officials searching social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter looking for benefit cheats.

The new move comes as the Department is trying to clampdown on those who fraudulently claim social welfare payments without needing to so. The Department say they will be observing closely and will be specifically looking for cheats who post pictures of luxurious holidays and flashy new motors. It is understood Investigators from the Department of Social welfare will be searching for hard evidence that will catch those guilty of committing ‘welfare tourism’. The newly recognised crime has come to light in recent years, it is understood the crime is commit when a social welfare payment recipient willingly flies in to Ireland from another EU country just to collect welfare payments as well as proof of disability fraud. The Department all say they will be consistently watching out for people who are living a lifestyle way beyond their means.

Meanwhile a spokesman from the Department of Social Protection told The Irish Daily Mail: “Fraud investigative staff, as part of ongoing targeted fraud and error control activities, may refer to social media sites as part of investigations.” “Details obtained from social media are examined and if relevant, will be used a part of the picture in an overall investigation.” The spokesman added: “A payment is not suspended or stopped on the basis of any social media site posting but may, however, be used as part of the information corroborated with other evidence to review a customer’s eligibility to a payment.”

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