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    • I wouldn't bother with emailing Virgin's CEO.   In April I started a complaint about my BB connection which they repaired quickly but charged me to repair.   I was mostly ignored or promised resolution that never happened. So I complained by email to the CEO, twice, demanding written responses. On each occasion, a lowly call centre worker called and it was obvious they knew or cared little about my actual case.   Finally I got a written reply confirming the charge was dropped but not a penny offered in compo despite the issue taking months to resolve.   Virgin don't take CEO complaints seriously.
    • Dear All,   BN, BF, HB, - Thank you for your comments.    Yes sorry, i wanted to save some time by doing that as I wanted to carry out the posting ASAP OK, I have redacted the statement and it is attached here in the PDF doc.   Its our 2nd draft and I will fine tune it tonight / tomorow.   Thank you for putting me right.    Warm regards BF   Counterclaim-1.pdf
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    • Hi Burma.   You've been here for a while and I have to say I'm a bit disappointed that you're PMing this to various people off the main thread.   Advice by PM isn't what we advise here and I hope that you can post up your anonymised documents very soon.   HB
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Benefit investigation

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My partner left me and my baby last year after i found out he had not been paying the mortgage for months which ended in repossesion and constant arguing.


I moved out of the area and in feb 08 I found a rented property. I claimed housing benefit, CT and Income Support. while living in my new area I found a job in the May 08. So i contacted the Housing benefit and Income support to tell them about my change (I also written and have witness for this). I did noticee a change in my Income Support and also an reducment in Housing Benefit payemnts and thought nothing more of it as I still though I got help being a single parent.


In Sept 08 I decided to move back near my parents and start a fresh with a new job and new home. I contacted the HB & IS and told them about this and all benefit payments were stopped as I now had a better paid job and i felt i could now manage my rent myself I also put my boy into nursery .


so here I am now May 2009 NOT claiming (bearing in mind I have never ever claimed anythink in mylife apart from the 5 months when I was trying to Get on my feet with a baby) I now find myself in a position where I am being investigagte by the benefit fraud team??


I called the fraud team today and she told me that it relates to the 5 month in my first rented property a year ago when I claimed.


Th only thing I can think off is that they have overpayed me too much or written to me at my old address ????


I just dont know. But I am sat here reading on benefit fraud crying and its making me feel really ill.


Please anyone who has been in this situation please reply. :(

Edited by bluesky25
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You say that you informed the relevant benefits office when you started working and have got proof of this, in my experience with them, if you've got evidence then (although distressing) things will sort themselves out.


Have they said what exactly is being investigated? Maybe your ex has tried to claim under your name, maybe it is an overpayment. If it is because of you being paid too much benefit it is easily sorted. If it's something more sinister then they will get to the bottom of it.


Do you have a CAB near you? or even ask your GP if they have anyone there you can talk to


Please try not to get too upset, easier said then done I know but you should get alot of help from the wonderful people on this site.


Good luck and keep us posted.

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I agree, it does all come out in the wash eventually!


Are you certain that it is the Benefit fraud team looking into your claim?

Or is it just the Job Centre Plus or DWP?


If when you originally claimed you declared everthing that they asked of you, then you have nothing to worry about.

It may just be an admin error on their behalf, your defence if it is, will be that you supplied them with all of the information they asked for, and you cannot be held responsible for their failure to act on the information you provided.


Try not to worry, I know it is easier said than done, but like I have said, it is more than likely an error on their part, which regardless of what they or others might say, does not mean you will have to pay it back. I am proof of that.;)

Who ever heard of someone getting a job at the Jobcentre? The unemployed are sent there as penance for their sins, not to help them find work!



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Hi Thanks for your replys guys.


Its for sure the fraud investigation team the letter says im under investigation.


I have to go and see them nextweek. I dont have any paper copies relating to the claim as it was over a year ago infact i dont have any paperwork relating to that address. When I contacted HB and IS to tell them about my changes I just had a witness who was with me when i made the phone calls to the HB and IS to tell them about my change. They told me on the phone they would enter the information on the system and that I will also need to put this in writing which I did. (I never though anymore about it). I just checked my account a few weeks later and noticed the change in amounts.


I really dont know what to expect at this meeting, as I was only claiming for 5 months and as I said before I checked my account and looked at the current payments and seen that they had been reduced so i just took it as this is what i must be entitled to being a single parent.


I was new to claiming so if they made a mistake or for what ever reason they overpaid me I dont mind paying it back I just dont need this hassel.


Thanks for reading :(

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I was new to claiming so if they made a mistake or for what ever reason they overpaid me I dont mind paying it back I just dont need this hassel.


Look, you shouldn't lose any sleep over it honestly:)


It will probably only amount to a few hundred pounds, and even then it might even be their mistake, I'm all for people making honest mistakes! (unlike parliament) and if it is an honest mistake, neither you nor they have anything to worry about. If it is their oversight, then they should write it off, if it is an oversight on your behalf then equally they will allow you the benefit of the doubt, and if you are in receipt of benefits now, they will deduct an amount from that to repay what you have been overpaid. Again you will be allowed to appeal the amount that they take from your benefits, so that it doesn't leave you in dire straits.


Seriously, it isn't worth worrying over, every day is a school day as they say, and the lesson to learn from this is to keep everything that any Govt. organisation like the DWP or the JCP your local Authority send you is to keep all copies.


Just wait until what it is that they say, and post back if you require any further help or guidance:-D

Who ever heard of someone getting a job at the Jobcentre? The unemployed are sent there as penance for their sins, not to help them find work!



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Bazooka Boo is right. I was under investigation for 2 months for Alleged Benefit Fraud. It was one of the most distressing thing ever to hit me and so I understand what you are going through. I would firmly suggest you to get a solicitor with you,they are really helpful, they dealt with these situation many times and they can help during the interview which can sometimes be quite tough. The investigators try to make you tell them what they want and having the solicitor can stop them from doiing it. In your case, anyway, it should not be too bad since the worst it could happen is to pay back a few hundreds of pounds. One piece of advice I would give though is that in so many years living in UK I learnt that EVERYTIME I have to contact them for ANYTHING at all I need TO PUT EVERYTHING IN WRITING , meke sure it is RECORDED DELIVERY and keep those recepits for YEARS.... It is sad but withouth them , it is your word against the Mighty Government and they have so much power to stress you... It has been hard for me,...it just recently turn out good for me...but I learnt a lot ... Take care ...and try and not worry too much. You will be fine... Get a solicitor...

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doodoo04 why was u under investigation? and what was the outcome. Id like to hear stories from people who were innocent and what happend after the invetigation?


What do they do? for example I owe £1000 i pay it back (do i get crinimal record)?



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They were claiming my husband was living with me because there were letters with his name still coming at my address after he left. Everything went well but the stress was horrible. I can't underline enough how important it is to get a solicitor's advice. I went to CAB office and they pointed me to one who was dealing with these matters and they were excellent. They help you to put things into perspective and they can also have a disclosure on your case on the day of the interview, before the interview actually starts. That will help you to gather information and thoughts which is important when you have an interview which is actually recorded. In your case, it is quite clear why you have been called, so you can gather as much information as you can beforehand. I did nt know what was going on until the day, so you can imagine the distress. The options they can take forward after the interview are 3:

A penalty charge which is 30% of your overpayment PLUS the overpayment .

A caution - a sort of Slap on the wrist - but you still have to pay the Overpayment

A court Action - usually you have to owe over £3000 and they really have to have proofs that you did that on PURPOSE- this will not apply to you for sure


I am pretty sure you will not go to court and that is good because only a court case could harm your criminal records. You would really have been overpaid for long time and they have to show that you actually did it on purpose.


If you owe them money and they can prove it , you will have to pay them back but usually a payment scheme is accepted and it is decided upon your income and expenses.


You will be fine... Believe me. Get advice from a solicitor and if you believe your proofs may be not enough, then get a solicitor to come with you at the interview.

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I was in same boat in October 07 I was on Incapacity Benefit for 7 months due to an injury at work. I also got Accident at work benefit which was £27-00 a week. My local disability back to work trust told me this would not affect ANY benefit I was receiving, so meantime I bumbled along dutifully looking for employment which I found in May 07. I signed off glad to be working again, and put a bit away for a holiday in the October.

We arrived home after two weeks to find letter from civic centre saying - this is the bit that really angers me and still does "We believe that you have made a Fraudulant claim". This led me to have 2 interviews with the council benefit investigation team who promptly made me feel to be Ronnie Biggs crossed with Al Capone. This was between Oct 07 and March 08 - Five months of needless stress - my new employer was flabbergasted that they were doing this to me - never put a foot wrong before.

I was called back to face a formal council caution and repay - wait for it - £400. My record is clear this October but in light of the current news about MP's I am going to complain about the way I was handled throughout and that I dared to defy them by protesting my innocence. When I was cautened - the officer could not look me in the eyes because I was glaring at him with the contempt that he deserved. I was told that if I refused to sign and take a slap on the wrist - I would go to magistrates court for prosecution. I believe to this day that I was made an example of - I am aware of someone else who is in a similar position and I believe that this certain council was simply employing tactics to make up government statistics.:-x

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I am a local authority (Council ) Benefit Investigations Manager, I came across this thread whilst browsing. I also am a bit peeved off about MP expenses so have no issue defending or advising on peoples rights. Bluesky25, the issue is simple - all local authority fraud teams and DWP fraud teams are on targets of how many "cautions", "administrative penalties" and "prosecutions" they administer - they will have picked up from a government data match that you have been overpaid Housing Benefits and Council Tax Benefits from the period that you claimed for - two things have gone wrong;

1) you started work and although you say you told them they say you did not or 2) you moved and they will say you did not tell them - both are offences of failing to declare a change of circumstances. They need :

a) a full and frank admission of this offence to issue a "simple" caution (it is not a formal caution as issued by the Police and means bog all

b) they do not need an admission to issue you an Administrative Penalty.

c) they do not need an admission to prosecute - this is unlikely if your overpayment is under 2.5k - My advice is as follows:

1. WRITE IN and delay the interview on the grounds you need legal advice, Also ask them to clarify what you have done - if it is a failure to declare a change of circumstances what date was that change and what was the change you did not declare, also what is the overpayment and what period does it cover. KEEP A COPY - do not tell them anything other than that!

2. You then need to identify what what your letter says - what are you being accused of? If it tells you nothing you are entitled to get it explained.

3. Who did your Housing Benefit go to - you or your landlord - if you banked the cash after telling them you had moved OR started work then you are on a sticky wicket.

4.Get yourself a solicitor who knows Benefit Offences via CAB and attend Interview - do not admit anything, do not sign a Caution or Administrative Penalty IF you are innocent 5. If you definately did nowt then call their bluff - say you want your day in Court - be careful though- if you did fail to declare a change and INTENDED to keep the money you will lose, the key thing is they have to prove INTENT.


Hope this helps - probably confuses you further - keep your pecker up.













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Just an update.


To confuse matters I have now received a letter from the council reminding me of a payment due for the overpayment of the housing benefit. (this was arranged when i notifiyed them of me canceling my benfits and me moving) which proves that i have been in touch with the council to set up the agreement and also proves they had my new address.


So what i am going to do is cancel my interview on Tuesday and re arrange and pay for a solicitor to represent me and the interview.


Thanks eveyone for your advice I will keep you updated.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hey guys


I went for the investigation and was interviewed by 2 ladies. went alone as I know I have done nothink wrong one of the ladies was trying to make confuse me with dates etc so id admit to fraurd but because I know i am NOT guilty i just stared her out and shes was getting angry with me.


I was so relaxed throughout and they tried to say i never informed them that i moved and i felt so good getting out all my correspondence from the council from aug last year proving they had been writing to me at my new address The look on there faces said it all.


To be honest after that interview I walked out smiling and whatever the outcome. If they have overpayed me the money for the HB & IS it would work out just over £1500 and I said id be happy to pay it back.


I know I written in and changed my circumstances and they could not stand it.


So now ill just wait for there reply :O)

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To be honest after that interview I walked out smiling and whatever the outcome. If they have overpayed me the money for the HB & IS it would work out just over £1500 and I said id be happy to pay it back.

I know I written in and changed my circumstances and they could not stand it.

So now ill just wait for there reply :O)


Well done!:D IMHO when they see that it is an error on their part any amount that has been overpaid is written off and deemed 'unrecoverable'

As I mentioned earlier in one of my replies, they asked for the relevant information, you supplied it, it isn't up to you how they process that information or what they do with it, besides you don't work in or have knowledge of their procedures!


Each and every time I have been overpaid, they have accused me of fraud, then of failing to supply the relevant information, and when it is proved it is in fact them and their procedures which are to blame, the overpayment is written off.


I always say to them that maybe they should start taking the overpayment out of whoevers wages processed the paperwork:rolleyes:

Maybe then people would start taking a little more pride in their work:lol:

Who ever heard of someone getting a job at the Jobcentre? The unemployed are sent there as penance for their sins, not to help them find work!



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Bazooka Boo I really agree with you that they should have it deducted from their blessed wages! When it is clearly show to be their error.


Only problem then is poor Elche would then be overwhelmed with Council employees complaining about unlawful deductions from salaries!


I'm glad you sorted this out BlueSky, you must have been very worried.

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well bluesky your really having a rough times of thingsat this present time dont admit to anything at all see what evidence they have on you first .also in futurekeep all documentation of all types u never know when it will come back and bite ur bum .if u had saved this info ur case would be closed ..i hope life starts picking up for you at least good luck

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  • 7 months later...

Just a quick qiestion. Some months ago i went for an interview under caution and was offered a admin penalty. I refused as i am dont agree. I claimed HB & IS for 12 weeks after me and my partner split just to get me on my feet and i was awarded full HB & IS. I written to the council to tell them i was going work part time. I never heard from them and noticed my HB was then deducted so took it that was the HB made up towards my PT wages.


Anyway months later i went to the interview on my own and was 100% honest. They offered the admin penalty and I refused. So I was told this would be forwarded to see if ill be prosicuted.


Well tonight i had 2 investigation officers at my door (7.20pm) asking for me but I was out and my boyfriend took the message. The offices left there card and asked me to get in touch asap.


Anyone know why they would come to my home while i have a 3 yr old in bed??? Im confused I thought id receive a letter with a court date.


Any advice appriated.



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I have never heard of this before?

Who were they working for? The DWP?


That is incredibly intimidating, 7.20 pm!

I would find out exactly who they are working for first and raise a complaint direct with them, and warn them that if they intend to send any of their 'investigators' round to your property again you will call the Police.


This isn't still going on from your previous post is it?

I thought all that was sorted.


Have you not received anythin else in writing informing you of their progress in this case?


I would be extremely angry and be taking them up on the matter first thing in the morning!

Who ever heard of someone getting a job at the Jobcentre? The unemployed are sent there as penance for their sins, not to help them find work!



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