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HB Interview under caution advise needed

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I recieved a letter today asking me to attend a interview under caution relating to my housing benefit.

I am a single mum with 3 children I work part time and recieve tax credits, child benefit I also recieve child care payments all this I have told them about.

The only thing I can think I may have got called in for is that they have found out that I recieve £40 a week from there dad which is payed into my Mums account, I know I should have said about this and wish I had now.

Any advise on what is likely to happen would be great I am getting really stressed

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Hi Annabell662

its a puzzle to think

how theywould they have found out about this maintenance.

Is your mother on HB and have they seen her bank statements?

Or do you think someone may have told them

Please dont stress

 

this is what happens

Why have I been asked to attend an interview under caution?

 

The Council has asked you to attend an interview under caution because it believes there are grounds to suspect that you have committed a criminal offence.

This does not mean that the Council believes that you are guilty and will prosecute you; it means that the evidence the Council has obtained so far suggests that you may have committed an offence.

The interview is held in order to give you the opportunity to provide an explaination of the events that have occured, although should evidence emerge during the interview that you have committed an offence, you may be prosecuted.

 

Do I have to attend an interview?

 

No, you do not have to attend an interview, however, if you do not attend an interview this will not prevent the Council from taking further action, such as prosecuting you in the Criminal Courts

 

Who can come to the interview with me?

 

Anyone who is not connected to the investigation can attend the interview with you - this person could be a friend, Social worker or a relative.

 

Please Note:

 

The council does not have childcare facilities and will not interview you if you have a dependant child with you at the time of the interview.

If the person attending the interview with you is not a Solicitor / Legal Advisor, they are with you for moral support only; they have no right to speak, to advise you or to ask questions during the interview.

If you have severe hearing impediment or English is not your first language (and you have difficulty in understanding and answering in English) the Council will provide a translator at no expense to you.

You can have a Solicitor / Legal Advisor present with you. You can appoint a Solicitor or Legal Advisor yourself or your local Citizens Advice Bureau or Welfare Rights Unit may be able to help you. If you have any disabilities, the Council can make alternative arrangements if required.

 

Who will interview me?

 

Usually two officers from the Council's investigation team will interview you. These officers are specially trained to conduct interviews under caution.

Sometimes the Council conducts joint investigations with other agencies, such as the Department for Work and Pensions and the Inland Revenue. If there has been a joint investigation in your case, you may be interviewed by an officer from the Council and an officer from the other agency. If this is the case it will be made clear to you at the time of the interview.

 

What happens at the interview?

 

As soon as you enter the interview room, two cassette tapes will be unsealed in front of you and will be placed in front of you and will be placed into a tape recorder. The tape recorder will then be switched on and will start to record the interview.

 

Before you are asked any questions the Council's officers will explain a number of things to you including:

  • That the interview is being tape recorded
  • That the interview is being conducted in accordance with the Police & Criminal Evidence Act 1984 and that a copy of the Codes of Practice for the act are available for you to consult;
  • You will be cautioned and advised of your rights (that you are not under arrest, that you are free to leave the interview at any time and that you may seek legal advice at any time)
  • Advise you as to why you have been asked to attend the interview.

You will then e asked questions about your benefit claim. The Councils officers are not bound to accept the first answer you give but are under a duty to try to establish the truth about what has happened.

At the end of the interview you will be asked to sign a paper seal that will be used to seal one of the tapes. You will be given a form explaining how you can have access to a copy of the tape record of the interview. You will also be given a form showing what will happen next,

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No she is not on any benefits so should not have any access to have bank statements.

I do think they have been informed by someone.

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You could allways ring the Council and ask. They won't be able to discuss the allegation, but should be able to give you an idea what it is about.


Please do not ask me for advice via PM as I will not reply.

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Forgot to say on the letter it did state that they believe my action may be fradulent

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The money your ex pays to your mother's account - is this for child maintenance?

 

They can access bank accounts regardless of whether your mother claims any benefits if they suspect her account is used for fraudulent purposes.


My advice is based on my opinion, my experience and my education. I do not profess to be an expert in any given field. If requested, I will provide a link where possible to relevant legislation or guidance, so that advice provided can be confirmed and I do encourage others to follow those links for their own peace of mind. Sometimes my advice is not what people necesserily want to hear, but I will advise on facts as I know them - although it may not be what a person wants to hear it helps to know where you stand. Advice on the internet should never be a substitute for advice from your own legal professional with full knowledge of your individual case.

Please do not seek, offer or produce advice on a consumer issue via private message; it is against

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In that case, any payments made for maintenance from 27th October 2008 will be disregarded. The CM disregard came into force on this date for the purposes of Housing Benefit and Council Tax benefit. Anything before that date, the first £15 per week will be disregarded, the remainder considered as income.

 

A bit of a personal question, do you have a boyfriend or any other frequent male visitor to your home?


My advice is based on my opinion, my experience and my education. I do not profess to be an expert in any given field. If requested, I will provide a link where possible to relevant legislation or guidance, so that advice provided can be confirmed and I do encourage others to follow those links for their own peace of mind. Sometimes my advice is not what people necesserily want to hear, but I will advise on facts as I know them - although it may not be what a person wants to hear it helps to know where you stand. Advice on the internet should never be a substitute for advice from your own legal professional with full knowledge of your individual case.

Please do not seek, offer or produce advice on a consumer issue via private message; it is against

forum rules to advise via private message, therefore pm's requesting private advice will not receive a response.

(exceptions for prior authorisation)

If my advice has been helpful, please show your gratitude by taking a moment to click on the star icon on the bottom strip of my post

:)

 

 

 

 

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Thanks for that should I still have informed them I was getting it??

I just can not think what else I could have been called in for

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If it was asked on the form you completed, yes you should have declared it. If it is this they will not know it is maintenance unless you tell them.

 

You could be called in for anything, really. There are so many mallicious people about these days and sometimes to the fraud investigators what they find can look incriminating when it is perfectly innocent.


My advice is based on my opinion, my experience and my education. I do not profess to be an expert in any given field. If requested, I will provide a link where possible to relevant legislation or guidance, so that advice provided can be confirmed and I do encourage others to follow those links for their own peace of mind. Sometimes my advice is not what people necesserily want to hear, but I will advise on facts as I know them - although it may not be what a person wants to hear it helps to know where you stand. Advice on the internet should never be a substitute for advice from your own legal professional with full knowledge of your individual case.

Please do not seek, offer or produce advice on a consumer issue via private message; it is against

forum rules to advise via private message, therefore pm's requesting private advice will not receive a response.

(exceptions for prior authorisation)

If my advice has been helpful, please show your gratitude by taking a moment to click on the star icon on the bottom strip of my post

:)

 

 

 

 

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Annabell, I know it is a sensitive question I asked in regard to male visitors but if there are any frequesnt male visitors, please tell me so I can help you. If not, say so and we can eliminate that part. You don't have to name anybody


My advice is based on my opinion, my experience and my education. I do not profess to be an expert in any given field. If requested, I will provide a link where possible to relevant legislation or guidance, so that advice provided can be confirmed and I do encourage others to follow those links for their own peace of mind. Sometimes my advice is not what people necesserily want to hear, but I will advise on facts as I know them - although it may not be what a person wants to hear it helps to know where you stand. Advice on the internet should never be a substitute for advice from your own legal professional with full knowledge of your individual case.

Please do not seek, offer or produce advice on a consumer issue via private message; it is against

forum rules to advise via private message, therefore pm's requesting private advice will not receive a response.

(exceptions for prior authorisation)

If my advice has been helpful, please show your gratitude by taking a moment to click on the star icon on the bottom strip of my post

:)

 

 

 

 

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with you in a tick Annabell, just typing up a response.


My advice is based on my opinion, my experience and my education. I do not profess to be an expert in any given field. If requested, I will provide a link where possible to relevant legislation or guidance, so that advice provided can be confirmed and I do encourage others to follow those links for their own peace of mind. Sometimes my advice is not what people necesserily want to hear, but I will advise on facts as I know them - although it may not be what a person wants to hear it helps to know where you stand. Advice on the internet should never be a substitute for advice from your own legal professional with full knowledge of your individual case.

Please do not seek, offer or produce advice on a consumer issue via private message; it is against

forum rules to advise via private message, therefore pm's requesting private advice will not receive a response.

(exceptions for prior authorisation)

If my advice has been helpful, please show your gratitude by taking a moment to click on the star icon on the bottom strip of my post

:)

 

 

 

 

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Okay. Only this is the most frequently reported cases, and can look incriminating when it's innocent!

 

First things first. You do not have to go to the IUC, you are not obligated to go. However this will not stop their investigation. I always say to people to go, see what it is about, and if you want to seek further advise once you know what it is about, then you simply tell them you want to leave and seek advice from your solicitor/welfare rights officer/other third party. You can leave the IUC any time you wish. Whether you go or not is your decision, it isn't one anyone can make for you.

 

If you do go, you can take someone with you. You can take a solicitor or you can take an advisor such as a Welfare Rights Officer, CAB worker etc (you can find these people through your local council, it is a free service and it is not in any manner associated with the departments which pay your benefit or investigate benefit fraud). You can also take a friend or family member with you, so long as they are not part of the investigation. But as you don't know what they are investigating, that's a toughie. Anyone who is not in an official capacity (family friend for example) cannot speak for you or ask questions or guide you in your answers, they can only provide moral support, or they will be asked to leave.

 

You can also ask them if they can defer the interview if you need to seek further advice from a solicitor or Welfare Rights Officer ect.

 

Things to take with you:

 

 

  • Bank statements of all accounts you have
  • Tax Credit Award notice
  • Childcare contract/receipts for childcare
  • Rent agreement
  • Council Tax Bill
  • Payslips
  • Employment contract
  • Utility bills

Anything else related to your finances or related to your communication with them about your benefit (letters from them to you, or copies of letters you have sent to them, if you have them)

 

You do not have to take these with you. However it will show the investigating officers that you are as keen to get this sorted as they are, and that you are not trying to hide anything. They may have accessed this information already, but not always. If you have them with you, they can eliminate other possibilities if they haven't yet accessed that information.

 

The people who conduct the interview will begin by explaining how the interview will go - they will advise that you are under caution, advise you of your right to remain silent, ect and advise you that the interview will be recorded.

 

They may show you a copy of the form you completed when you applied for benefit, and ask if you understand the conditions of your claim (the need to report a change of circumstances, increase in income etc). They will ask if you have anything you wish to declare that is not on your form.

 

They will tell you what they suspect you are doing that is fraudulent, and they will invite you to respond to this. You may be shown evidence they have gathered in the course of their investigation and be asked if you wish to explain it. Remember, evidence is not always cut and dry. If they show you something which is completely innocent but looks damning, say so. Don't be afraid to speak up. Tell them - explain. This is your opportunity to tell them your side. You must always remember also that you are not obliged to say anything. You can stay silent, as is your right. You can also request a break if you are finding it uncomfortable and you also have the right to leave at any time. If you feel nervous, your mouth can go very dry - ask for a glass of water if this happens, and they will accomodate this.

 

They are not allowed to intimidate you in any way, and the interview is recorded, but only an auditory recording, so if the officers do anything that makes you feel uncomfortable for example: lean over you, speak up for the purpose of the tape. "Could you please step back a bit, I don't feel comfortable when you stand over me like that" they are unlikely to ask why it makes you uncomfortable but if they do, "Because you are a perfect stranger and I feel uncomfortable with you being this close to me" - that way it is recorded on the tape that although they said nothing intimidating, their body language made you uncomfortable. Please don't let this frighten you - it is unlikely they would stand over you, and if they did they probably would not realise they were making you uncomfortable - I am simply making you aware that you can say to them if you feel uncomfortable.

 

You may also want to look over a recent thread here, where a person admitted benefit fraud. His posting shows that not all IUC's are scary things, and even when a person is guilty you will most likely be treated with respect throughout. As you have no idea what it is about, it is unlikely to be anything too serious if indeed it is anything at all. http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/benefits-tax-credits-minimum/235862-interview-under-caution-some.html

 

It is possible that someone has malliciously told them you get money paid into your mum's account by your ex partner. Tell them it is maintenence, they won't know otherwise. If you have been claiming HB since before 27/10/08 then yes, you could have an overpayment there and will have to pay back the benefit you weren't due, and you may also receive a penalty.

 

If there is anything else you would like to ask, fire away.

  • Haha 1

My advice is based on my opinion, my experience and my education. I do not profess to be an expert in any given field. If requested, I will provide a link where possible to relevant legislation or guidance, so that advice provided can be confirmed and I do encourage others to follow those links for their own peace of mind. Sometimes my advice is not what people necesserily want to hear, but I will advise on facts as I know them - although it may not be what a person wants to hear it helps to know where you stand. Advice on the internet should never be a substitute for advice from your own legal professional with full knowledge of your individual case.

Please do not seek, offer or produce advice on a consumer issue via private message; it is against

forum rules to advise via private message, therefore pm's requesting private advice will not receive a response.

(exceptions for prior authorisation)

If my advice has been helpful, please show your gratitude by taking a moment to click on the star icon on the bottom strip of my post

:)

 

 

 

 

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What is this country coming to, they go in to your bank account without your permission, they even go into your mums account even though she is not on benefit. she could or should have a case under the data protection act.

 

The least they should have done was inform yourself and your mum what they were doing, it seems these days no-one has any sort of privacy:(

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You'll find there is an exemption under section 29 of the Data Protection act which allows this information to be accessed if it is for the purposes of crime detection. Fraud is a crime, and anyone suspected of commiting or participating in any crime can have their details accessed in order to complete areas of an invesitgation. The DWP/Council employees in general cannot access this information, only named FIS officers who have those permissions as part of their duties.

 

They are not duty bound to inform suspects that they are going to access their details, as it could compromise the investigation if a suspect knows they are on to them. That would be similar to the police informing a suspect that they are placing them under surveillence.


My advice is based on my opinion, my experience and my education. I do not profess to be an expert in any given field. If requested, I will provide a link where possible to relevant legislation or guidance, so that advice provided can be confirmed and I do encourage others to follow those links for their own peace of mind. Sometimes my advice is not what people necesserily want to hear, but I will advise on facts as I know them - although it may not be what a person wants to hear it helps to know where you stand. Advice on the internet should never be a substitute for advice from your own legal professional with full knowledge of your individual case.

Please do not seek, offer or produce advice on a consumer issue via private message; it is against

forum rules to advise via private message, therefore pm's requesting private advice will not receive a response.

(exceptions for prior authorisation)

If my advice has been helpful, please show your gratitude by taking a moment to click on the star icon on the bottom strip of my post

:)

 

 

 

 

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Yes, family members bank accounts can be accessed under the the Social Security Fraud Act- but it is very tightly controlled and monitered.


Please do not ask me for advice via PM as I will not reply.

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As shoelover says, yep.

 

If they have a reason to suspect money is being deposited into a third party's account to evade detection, it can be accessed, but not by the investigators "on the shop floor". Quite often the person has no idea their account is being used to evade detection, they just accept that mum/daughter/brother/uncle/friend needs somewhere safe their money can be deposited, and also don't know the other person is claiming benefits on the side.

 

People are often surprised what invesitigators can lay their hands on, but only when necessary. They can't just access accounts willy nilly, and only specified authorised officers can do so.

 

Link to legislation: Social Security Fraud Act 2001 (c. 11)

 

Again, I echo what Shoelover has said - it is very tightly controlled. In the same manner your access to records is monitored, and any data they come across is of course kept/destroyed in accordance with the DPA, with the usual exemptions applying.


My advice is based on my opinion, my experience and my education. I do not profess to be an expert in any given field. If requested, I will provide a link where possible to relevant legislation or guidance, so that advice provided can be confirmed and I do encourage others to follow those links for their own peace of mind. Sometimes my advice is not what people necesserily want to hear, but I will advise on facts as I know them - although it may not be what a person wants to hear it helps to know where you stand. Advice on the internet should never be a substitute for advice from your own legal professional with full knowledge of your individual case.

Please do not seek, offer or produce advice on a consumer issue via private message; it is against

forum rules to advise via private message, therefore pm's requesting private advice will not receive a response.

(exceptions for prior authorisation)

If my advice has been helpful, please show your gratitude by taking a moment to click on the star icon on the bottom strip of my post

:)

 

 

 

 

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I knew they can get access to bank accounts to the person to whom the investigation relates to, but not to a third party.

 

Would they go to these lengths on the strength of a fraud accusation.

Edited by MIKEY DABODEE

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I don't know, Mikey. I would assume like all levels of fraud they can only act where there appears to be solid grounds for the accusation, otherwise it's treated by compliance rather than fraud who don't have the same powers. I would assume it to be a last resort when it involves a third party where there are no other indicators. But that's only my opinion!


My advice is based on my opinion, my experience and my education. I do not profess to be an expert in any given field. If requested, I will provide a link where possible to relevant legislation or guidance, so that advice provided can be confirmed and I do encourage others to follow those links for their own peace of mind. Sometimes my advice is not what people necesserily want to hear, but I will advise on facts as I know them - although it may not be what a person wants to hear it helps to know where you stand. Advice on the internet should never be a substitute for advice from your own legal professional with full knowledge of your individual case.

Please do not seek, offer or produce advice on a consumer issue via private message; it is against

forum rules to advise via private message, therefore pm's requesting private advice will not receive a response.

(exceptions for prior authorisation)

If my advice has been helpful, please show your gratitude by taking a moment to click on the star icon on the bottom strip of my post

:)

 

 

 

 

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