If you suspect someone may be committing fraud against Centrelink, Medicare or Child Support, you should report it.
We know most people are honest and do the right thing. But, there are a small number of people who:
- get money they’re not eligible for, or
- abuse the services we provide
What types of fraud
If you do something dishonest to get a payment or benefit from us, you're committing fraud. This can be welfare, health or child support fraud.
We have processes in place to find and prevent fraud. We focus on the most serious cases of non-compliance, not people who make an honest mistake.
If we think someone has committed fraud, we’ll investigate it.
Welfare fraud may include:
- claiming a welfare payment or service using a false identity or someone else’s identity
- providing false or misleading information - for example you report less income than you earned
- not giving us information - for example about income you've earned or assets
- not telling us you’re living with someone as a member of a couple
- continuing to get a welfare payment for a person who has died or left your care
- not telling us you left Australia while receiving a payment – either on a trip or to live
Fraud committed against our health programs may include:
- making Medicare claims for services you did not receive
- using someone else's Medicare card
- using an invalid concession card
- forging prescriptions for Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) medicine
- taking or sending PBS medicine overseas that’s not for you or someone you’re travelling with
Child support fraud
Child support fraud may include:
- making false or misleading statements
- not telling us about income and assets, or under declaring them
- an employer telling us someone doesn't work for them when they do and are paying them regularly
- claiming a child is in your care when they’re not
- using false names on documents such as statutory declarations, payslips or bank statements
- employee and employer collusion
Employee and employer collusion
This is when people try to disrupt, minimise or avoid making child support payments.
For example, Bob's employer agrees to pay him cash and not report his full income. This means Bob’s income will look less than it is and Bob can reduce the amount of child support he pays.
How to report fraud
If you think someone’s committing fraud you should report it. We keep everything you tell us confidential. To report fraud, you:
- don’t have to give us your name, you can remain anonymous
- should fill in as much of the form as possible
- should give specific answers, as this will help our review processes
- don’t have to answer all the questions
Welfare or child support fraud
You can report welfare and child support fraud online:
If you print the completed form for your own records, keep it safe and private.
If you think a member of the public is committing fraud against our health programs, complete the reporting suspected fraud form.
Healthcare provider fraud
If you think a health care provider is committing fraud, complete the online form on the Department of Health website.
Report fraud by phone
You can also report suspected fraud by calling our fraud tip off line. Find somewhere private and safe before you call. This will keep the information you provide confidential.
Call 131 524, Monday to Friday, 9:00 am to 4:45 pm AEST excluding South Australian public holidays.
What we do with reports about suspected fraud
Our specialist officers assess every fraud allegation.
We know you may want to know about the progress and result of information you gave us. But we can’t release details about our activities. This is due to the secrecy provisions in the laws we’re bound by including the Privacy Act 1988.
We take all reports of suspected fraud seriously.
Sometimes you may not see changes to someone’s situation. The information you give us doesn't always result in a change in a person’s payment or service.
In some cases we may not take any further action. For example we may find:
- the person you name doesn’t get a payment or service
- we can’t identify the person, usually because we don’t have enough detail in the allegation
- the information isn’t relevant to the payment or service the person gets
- the information doesn’t match the person’s situation
We know not all incorrect payments are because of fraud. Sometimes incorrect payments can come from a mistake. A mistake may include:
- an accidental oversight
- an error or misunderstanding when filling out forms, or
- not providing us with all the information we need
But even if there is a mistake, incorrect payments must be repaid.
If we find enough evidence of criminal behaviour, we may take further steps. This means we make a referral to the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.