The Fraud Investigation Unit is responsible for three basic functions at the Department of Social Services.
First, the Fraud Investigation Unit is responsible for running the Front-End Detection System (FEDS) program. The FEDS program primary objective is to verify that all information provided on his or her application for Social Services benefits is true and correct. This is accomplished by a face-to-face interview with the Investigator, contact with people who can corroborate the client's information and various outside checks such as DMV, Credit Reports, Warrant Checks, Employment Verification and Computer Searches. Also, the Investigator will often make an unannounced home visit to verify the household composition.
Secondly, Investigators conduct validations, fraud referrals and public complaints. Validations are cases in which a Social Welfare Examiner has received information contrary to what the client is reporting in his or case. The information being sought is normally required to determine eligibility and may or may not result in a fraud case being opened. A fraud referral is an action taken by a Social Welfare Examiner when they receive evidence that likely will result in a fraud case being opened. Public complaints, as the name implies are reports of suspected fraud that originate from the public.
Lastly, Fraud Unit Investigators prepare fraud cases for prosecution. This process involves the review of case records, gathering evidence, conducting surveillance, questioning suspects, interviewing witnesses and the preparation of supporting Legal Documents. The packet prepared by the Investigator, if approved by the District Attorney's Office, is used to obtain an Arrest Warrant. The Investigator then acts as the liaison between the District Attorney's Office and The Department of Social Services. Fraud Investigators frequently serves as an expert witness during court proceedings.
To report cases of suspected welfare fraud contact : 1-800-431-4984