Welfare fraud is a common, but very serious, crime that happens across the world, including British Columbia, Canada. It abuses the public trust and makes it more difficult for citizens with legitimate need for government assistance to obtain the help that they need. Discovering welfare fraud can be an extremely troubling and surprising problem, especially if the person committing the fraud is somebody you know and respect. However, it is your civic duty to report this fraud to the proper authorities.
Confront the person you suspect of committing welfare fraud. Point out what you have seen and ask them about it directly. Listen to what they have to say. Make sure that you have not misinterpreted any statements or things that you may have seen. If they do not present a convincing explanation, offer them the opportunity to set it right. It will be better for them if they report their own fraud, as punishment will be more lenient.
Contact the British Columbia Ministry of Housing and Social Development by phone, email or letter. The organization is directly responsible for all welfare and investigate all charges of welfare fraud. Letter is the best record, as it will give them a statement in writing, which is a more concrete reason to investigate a welfare recipient. Give your full name, and any other identifying information that may be required. Be prepared to set aside an hour or so for the discussion.
Read More: What Will Happen If Someone is Found Guilty on Welfare Fraud?
Stay in touch with the Ministry as the case progresses. It is possible the Ministry will need to interview you again, or require you to come to court and testify about what you have observed. Remember to keep the chain of events that led you to observe the fraud clear and consistent. If you have any connections with the accused, such as a personal grudge, prepare yourself for this to be discussed in the course of the case, possibly in front of a jury.
Dan Seitz has been writing professionally since 2008. He has been published on Cracked.com, Spike.com, AMOG.com, OverthinkingIt.com, Zug.com, TheDeadbeat.com and Gunaxin.com. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in theater and is currently earning his Master of Arts in film at Emerson College.