Benefits cheat caught out on Facebook

by Paul Lucas21 Mar 2016
Often at Life and Health Insurance Professional, we report on people organizing life insurance scams – but this time we can tell you about a scammer who was exposed, in part, thanks to her life insurance policy, and Facebook.

Turn your attention to the UK, where a ‘single’ mother managed to pick-up around $42,000 in benefits before she was caught out by investigators.

According to a report at STV News, Lynette Downie had told the DWP, the Department for Work and Pensions, that she separated from husband Alec, a lorry driver, back in 2008. However, when they reunited in 2009, she kept up the lie that they continued to be separated for another four years before informing benefits providers about the reunification.

An investigation by the DWP saw staff look at the duo’s Facebook page where they found pictures of them on a family holiday together, as well as at a rugby game. Indeed there were even photos of the two of them at a fancy dress party together.

Furthermore, the investigation showed that they had both life and car insurance policies together, as well the fact that Mr Downie had applied for loans while stating he lived at the accused’s address.

Downie, 41, pleaded guilty but managed to escape jail. She was instead ordered to carry out 200hrs in community service while her husband took out a loan to repay around half the money in compensation. The defence stated that when the accused is able to find a new job, the money will be returned.