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How to Report a Family Member of Welfare Fraud Anonymously

by Robert Lee

Most county and state agencies make it easy to anonymously report welfare fraud. Welfare is an expensive cost to taxpayers, and state and local governments feel pressure to stamp out abuses. Government agencies will accept anonymous reports from anyone, including family members. A report of welfare fraud by a family member is likely to receive priority treatment because most states have limited fraud-investigation resources and the family member may have firsthand knowledge of the fraud.

Contact your county's department of social services. Social-services departments administer welfare programs and field welfare-related inquiries from the public. Obtain the number for social services in your county by calling city hall or a charitable organization such as the Salvation Army or Urban League. Tell the representative at the department of social services that you want to report a family member for welfare fraud. The representative may take your complaint or direct you to a statewide hotline for reporting welfare fraud. Call that number, if applicable.

Report specifics about the type of fraud, but do not give your name or telephone number. Describe yourself as a family member with inside knowledge about the fraud. Agencies require information such as the names of people suspected of fraud and the type of fraud, such as selling food benefits distributed through welfare or collecting benefits while hiding income.

Send an anonymous letter by mail, fax or online if you would rather not talk to an investigator --- even anonymously. Ask your local social-services agency about other options for filing fraud reports. The state of Washington, for example, accepts anonymous reports by mail, fax and online.

Warning

  • Do not disclose your name if you wish to remain anonymous. Some state laws may require that your name be listed in public documents if you disclose it.