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Benefit fraud - My story


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I have been reading this forum for a few years now, reading about peoples problems and how they have coped with them and hoping that I in turn one day would have te courage to do the same.

I have received an interview under caution letter from the DWP, and the strange thing is I am relieved. I could not go on like this.

I would like to put it on this forum just in case it can help someone else like me, and also I don’t really have any friends or close family.

Here is my story:

A few years ago I was physically abused by a group of men (can’t bring myself to say that r word) and was so depressed I spiralled down into depression and kept myself going with alcohol and drugs.

I borrowed some money from what I thought were decent people who turned out to be heavy loan sharks.

I could not cope socially, so I went on benefits (Housing/Council).

I did odd jobs here and there, while still claiming to payback the loan sharks but just could not cope socially with people so all my jobs have been short lived.

I then applied for Incapaciity benefit and got that which ran alongside my housing and Council tax benefits.

Every month the loan sharks showed up for payment, hiking up the interest which in turn forced me to take out loans thinking that each time I did they would go away.

I even contemplated suicide but knew that would not be the answer so changed my name and tried to move away before the sharks came back.

That did not work so I carried on receiving benefit, working to pay off the loan sharks and the loans that I took out to pay them.

Finally, DWP have caught up with me, and last night it took me great pleasure to show the letter to the loan sharks, telling them that if they come near me again I would tell the police. I do not known if this will work, but I hope they do not call my bluff.

I take full responsibility for defrauding the state, and know what I did has run into £’s, and was wrong, but I feel as though a weight has been lifted off of my shoulders, and I am safe.

I know that I will be taken to court, but hope that when I offer to pay back what I took and tell them my story, I will avoid prison.

My interview is in 2 weeks. Shall I bother to get It all off of my chest or shall I plead guilty and say nothing?

Sorry for the length of my first post.

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Whew, there's a lot to consider there.

 

Ok, first of all, the loan sharks. They're not known for their reasonable approaches, so don't expect them to see the DWP letter and back off. When you say "loan sharks", do you actually mean illegal companies, or things like Payday Loan, Provident and other supposedly legitimate businesses? that's VERY important for us to know who you're dealing with here.

 

Secondly, benefits. No easy answer there, but 1st thing to do is not to panic and not to volunteer any information they don't ask for. Find out what it is they've got you under suspicion first, and take it from there. Depending on the sums involved, they may well agree to letting you pay the debt off at a rate that is doable for you rather than taking you to court, which costs money and time and doesn't mean they'd get any more from you anyway. If you're fit to work however, you'll have to come off benefits and get a job, or at least sign on normally.

 

Thirdly, I hope for your sake you are now off the alcohol/drugs dependency otherwise whatever we help you with here won't be worth jack sh*t, so maybe that should have been no 1 on the list. Get counselling and get it now. I'm sure you yourself can see that alcohol/drugs/fraud/suicidal thoughts/loan sharks are NOT the way to deal with this all, but you HAVE to get yourself sorted first before you can sort out the rest of your life, ok?

 

You've come out in the open and that has to be a positive sign that you are now ready to tackle the issues in your life. That's good, and that's a start. Now make an appointment and go see your doctor, and get help for YOU. Here at CAG, we can help you with the other stuff, but your physical and mental health we can't. :-)

 

I can't even start to imagine how difficult it must have been for you to come out and post, so well done for that. You are not alone. {{{HUGS}}}

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Hello and welcome to the forum. Whatever you've done, we're not here to judge you and I think you've been brave to tell us. I'm sure some of our experts will be along soon to tell you how to deal with this.

 

With regard to being in debt, have you looked at CAG's debt forums? I haven't read them all that much, but have heard good reports about them helping people get their lives back together.

 

I hope we can help you get to where you'd like to be.

 

HB

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Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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My interview is in 2 weeks. Shall I bother to get It all off of my chest or shall I plead guilty and say nothing?

 

I am happy a weight has been lift off your shoulders you have been through a lot recently and situations like that are very frightening agree with bookworm loan shark doesn't care about anything they just want their money back. I hope you have approach the police and tell them your situation for safety sake. Bookwork has already told you anything you need but I would like to give my opinion also I think it is best if you tell the DWP exactly what has happened it will gives them an insight why you've frauded of course you must make sure that the DWP knows you are intending to pay back the money and that you will never fraud again so hopefully everything should go smoothly for you.

 

I'm keeping fingers crossed that everthing will be solved in your favour.

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Thank you guys for your warm replies :-)

 

Yes, I am off of the drugs, alcohol and suicial thoughts....the only way now is to just go forward, feel thefear and do it anyway!

 

Loan Sharks - there is only one I deal with and they are not legal, I did have their mobile number but hat went dead, when I asked for some contact details next time I saw them they told me i did not need it they knew where I lived.

 

the only thing I am petrified of is going to prison? I know I will definitley be taken to court, but I feel because I have been working to pay the loan sharks, I can stop that and pay DWP which would be more beneficial than takiing me to prison.

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I would definately report these loan sharks to the police. The police will probably know who these individuals are, as they generally have history. It might be an idea to pop down to your local citizen advice bureau, maybe they can suggest someone who could attend the interview and provide support.

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I have just spoken with a lawyer firm and they will represent at my interview. That is such a relief! they have a quick meeting with DWP and they have to tell them everything they have on me. The solicitors then speak to me and then we go into the interview.

 

I will constantly post updates on how my case is going. If I can help eveen one person whose story is similar to mine, I will be happy :-D

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I have just spoken with a lawyer firm and they will represent at my interview. That is such a relief! they have a quick meeting with DWP and they have to tell them everything they have on me. The solicitors then speak to me and then we go into the interview.

 

I will constantly post updates on how my case is going. If I can help eveen one person whose story is similar to mine, I will be happy :-D

 

Such a great news to hear you'll have all the help you need .

 

Do let us know how you get on.

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Hi, I can empathise, everyone has their own story to tell and its not always about greed! someone I know has just been for IUC and her partner who is living with her earns £800-1000 a week! thats greed and I hope she gets the book thrown at her, anyway, you will go to court if the amount is over 2k i think BUT having a loan shark hassle you would surely be mitigation and you should report it to the police, not only for your safety but also to have evidence of what was happening to you. good luck x

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Glad your getting the help you need xx

 

Regarding loan sharks, I know what you mean. I borrowed 100.00 some while ago and didnt know they wernt legit, they came door to door prior to one xmas. What mine did was to keep the payment book in their posession and week on week come for their money, it wasnt untill my son asked me how long was I paying it as he thought I had only had 100.00 and I queried it with the man, who said can have book back when paid, he appeared someone who you didnt want to push it with.

 

Anyhow I paid it off in full and asked for the payment book and he literally left with it. Due to my memory it turned out I had been paying this one man for nearly two years, to me the weeks blend if you know what i mean. So goodness knows how much I paid, never again.

 

Please go to police if you have any hastle from them xx

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thanks loopinlouie - I borrowed a few thousand so goodness knows how much I have paid back. The one time I stood up to them was not a nice experience so just kept paying. They send different people all the time, but never on the same day or time.

 

I plucked up the courage and spoke to the police yesterday, they have logged my address and said if they turn up again telephone them, and also see if CAB can do anything. But unfortunately I do not have the paperwork they do, and their mobile number is now dead and they have not given me their new one.

 

Hopefully my lawyer can come up with a few ideas if they turn up again .

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I telephoned jobcentreplus this morning to cancel my income support and I have to write a letter. I was told that I should put the reasons that I do not want it anymore.

 

Do I put that I am being investigated or shall I just put that I do not need it anymore. I thought they would of just said OK and then stopped the benefit.:-o

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Hi... You are so brave talking about it. I remember a few years ago telling one of my lawyers..... that when you reach the bottom there is nowhere else to go but up. I suspect you are now on your way up. Remember that you may find at times you will come up against what seems an insurmountable wall, no wall is that big or thick.... they can all be flung down and you can 'go forward' over the rubble. Take one issue at a time and solve it.

 

Try writing down a plan.... short term goals.......... mid term goals........... and long term ones. Then make a plan on how you get from one to the other. Keep a written record of them and as you cross them out you can easily see where you have come from and in what time scale. It is very satisfying and will bolster your resolve to move on again. I am looking forward to seeing your successes.

 

Don't be worried about prison.... it is the shame of the crime that stings not paying for it afterwards. Anyway haven't you heard there is a deficit to pay and courts are being instructed not to send people to prison.

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Hi Going Forward

 

Hopefully it won't come to that, you need to speak to the lawyer before you stop benefits, you don't want to write anything that can compromise his/her advice,

they can help manage the situation better if you consult them on certain matters.

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Well whilst I can't offer any practical advice I do want to add a message of moral support for you xxx

 

I think you're incredibly brave to deal with this in such a forthright manner and I am sincerely impressed by your courage and fortitude xx

 

Rach xx

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I telephoned jobcentreplus this morning to cancel my income support and I have to write a letter. I was told that I should put the reasons that I do not want it anymore.

 

Do I put that I am being investigated or shall I just put that I do not need it anymore. I thought they would of just said OK and then stopped the benefit.:-o

 

 

going forward,

I think you need to talk to your lawyer before you stop your benefits.

If you stop your IS this means that your Housing benefit will cease as well. ;(

Please dont be hasty you are doing fine, but get advice first

 

good luck :)

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Once again, thank you everybody for your kind support, its good to know their are people out there who do not judge me....

 

I spoke to my doctor today, and told her that I was feeling quite down and to help me through this time I would like some anti-depressents - I was open and honest, she immediately referred me to a mental Health practitioner. Immediately i thought that she thought I was crazy and I would be locked away, but she assured me that this would not happen.

 

The Practitioner telephoned me and we spent about an hour chatting, and I felt better. I am going to see her tomorrow, and she is going to organise someone to come and visit me every day, until I get stronger.

 

She also said that I should mention this in my interview next week, but I said I will leave all talking to my lawyer.

 

I feel as though things are looking up.:-)

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Oh, a quick word of warning: We do have some holier-than-thou on this forum who take great delight in casting the first stone, and who think that if you have been a bad girl you don't deserve our help, and that people like you should be flogged, you get the picture.

 

So far, thankfully, none of them has appeared on your thread, which is great. However, any of them could appear at any time and start on you, so forewarned is forearmed. If it happens, don't let it get to you and don't stop posting. They will always be people who think that their "moral" viewpoint is wanted or needed even (especially?) if it is absolutely not. Don't let it worry you, ok? :-)

 

Please keep us updated so we know you're ok. :-)

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