Insurance Fraud Bureau

Charges made in benefits scam investigation

28 June 2019

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Eleven people have been charged in connection to an investigation into a large-scale benefits scam, lead by Lancashire Police and supported by the IFB (Insurance Fraud Bureau), the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council.

On Wednesday 26 June, Police carried out raids at seven properties in the Blackburn area, where eight men and four women were arrest in relation to suspected fraudulent payments of around £500,000 along in disability benefits.

IFB was approached by Lancashire police earlier in the year for assistance into the ongoing investigation. Our Investigators were able to uncover policies associated to the fraudulent activity and then worked with the insurance industry to identify individuals who were believed to have been misrepresented.

This assisted the police in evidencing the fraudulent activity and enabled them to carry out enforcement action against those behind the activity.

Eight men and four women were arrested in relation to the suspected fraudulent payment of around £500,000 in disability benefits.

The investigation, known as ‘Operation Cactus’, is also reviewing alleged exploitation of vulnerable tenants with complex needs, through the control of their bank cards, universal credit and housing benefits.

Eleven of the 12 people arrested have been charged. All have been bailed to appear before Blackburn Magistrates’ Court on 18 July. For the full list, please view Lancashire Police's press release

If anyone has experienced or suspects similar illegal activity taking place, you can report this to your local police force via their website or 101. In addition, insurance fraud can be reported via IFB's Cheatline