Dutch authorities established nearly 17 thousand cases of fraud in claims for income support in the first half of 2005. This is the equivalent of one in twenty income support claims at the end of June 2005. The total amount involved in fraudulent income support claims was 59.8 million euro.
Average amount per case up substantially
In the second half of 2003 nearly 24 thousand cases of fraud were recorded. This number had dropped by 29 percent in the second half of 2005. The total amount of fraudulent claims fell by only 2 percent in the same period, however, which means that the average amount per fraudulent claim rose strongly. In the second half of 2003 the average amount of unjustified claims was 2.6 thousand euro per case; two years later it had risen to 3.6 thousand euro per case. One explanation for this might be that municipal authorities have introduced more active prevention policies and focused more on cases involving larger amounts.
Income support fraud: numbers and amounts
Amounts of fraudulent claims increase most in small municipalities
Compared with the second half of 2004, the increase in the average amount of fraud was observed across all municipalities, regardless of size. The increase was largest for the smaller municipalities (up to 20 thousand inhabitants).
Average amount of income support fraud by size of municipality
Increasing share of larger fraud amounts
A large part of the recorded fraudulent cases concern only relatively small amounts. In the first half of 2005, for example, more than two-thirds of cases involved an amount of between 1 and 3 thousand euro. Compared with previous periods, the share of cases involving a large amount has risen, however. In 3 percent of cases, claimants committed fraud to an amount of 25 thousand euro or more. In previous periods this share had never been higher than 2 percent.
Fraud cases by average amount of fraud
Vinodh Lalta en Menno Pover