Monday, December 11, 2017
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Benefit fraudsters living it up in Portugal should be feeling somewhat hotter under the collar since the Department for Work and Pensions launched their benefit fraud hotline number to crack down on ex-pats in that country claiming benefits they are not entitled to.


Residents can report suspected British benefit thieves to a free-phone local number: 800 208 638 or online at www.dwp.gov.uk/benefit-thieves-portugal. Their concerns will be passed on to a team of investigators in the UK. 

Lord Freud, Minister for Welfare Reform said: money laundering
“Fraud abroad cost the taxpayer around £66 million in 2009. This money should be going to the people who need it most and not lining the pockets of criminals sunning themselves in places like Portugal.

“We are determined to stop benefit thieves stealing from the British taxpayer. We are reforming the benefits system to make it less open to abuse and extending our reach further across Europe.”

Abroad fraud involves a range of scams such as people on means-tested benefits going abroad but failing to declare their absence, and individuals working while claiming sickness benefits.

The Portugal phone line is an extension of the successful hotline in Spain, which opened in September 2008 to cover the Alicante region and was extended into other areas covering Malaga, the Costa del Sol and the Canary Islands in March 2009.

1.    The Portuguese benefit fraud hotline was launched on 1 October 2010 and the number is 800 208 638. It is free and confidential and operates from 8am to 4pm, Monday to Friday.
2.    The Foreign and Commonwealth Office estimate there are around 30,000 ex-pats in Portugal.
3.    There are approximately 8,000 DWP customers in Portugal

There are some benefits that you are fully entitled to and can continue to receive if you live, move or travel overseas.