Benefits fraud on the rise

More Oregonians have been lying to get government benefits since last year’s economic dive.

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Instances of fraud in order to receive government benefits have jumped up dramatically in Oregon since last year.

Fraud for unemployment checks has had the most significant increase – 122% since October 2008. Lying for Medicaid and food stamps is also prevalent.

Most people getting help are in need and legitimately eligible for state assistance so the percentage of fraudulent cases is relatively small. Still, the data show fraud is becoming more common and front-line investigators confirm their workload has noticeably increased.

These aren’t simple, honest mistakes officials say, but deliberate attempts to defraud taxpayer-supported programs.

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