Artificial intelligence to target mass-benefit fraud gangs

Posted On: 
31st December 2017

Artificial intelligence will be used to launch a major crackdown on gangs cheating the benefits system, ministers have announced.

There were some 5,000 prosecutions for benefit fraud last year
PA Images

The Department of Work and Pensions will use new technology to identify frequently used handwriting and phone numbers appearing in multiple false claims.

Currently the only way to identify fraud in the welfare system is when Jobcentre Plus workers raise concerns. Last year some £1.1bn in overpaid benefits was recovered after about 5,000 prosecutions.

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Work and Pensions Secretary David Gauke said: "We are committed to tackling benefit fraud, especially from organised crime gangs, because it diverts money from the people who really need it.

"Our fraud investigators work tirelessly to bring criminals to justice and this is just one of the latest and innovative ways we are using cutting-edge technology to protect taxpayer's money."

It comes after Chancellor Philip Hammond announced an extra £75m in the budget to boost artificial intelligence development in Britain.