Scammers Swindle Social Services

Monday 27th, August 2012 / 08:26 Published by

Melanie Griffin

The Department of Social Services has been hit by a back-to-school scam, with fraudsters pretending to be in need, then selling government vouchers and pocketing cash, Minister of Social Services Melanie Griffin revealed.

“Once the client is known to Social Services, of course it dispenses [assistance] right away without the home inspection and that heavy assessment process because they’re known, and we have their record already,” said Griffin, who appeared as a guest on “Darold Miller Live” on Guardian Radio 96.9 FM.

“We have put in place a purchase order so the social worker no longer has to go, do a home assessment and then go and purchase the uniforms and the shoes for the client.”

Griffin said there are approved vendors who people can take their purchase orders to and buy the uniforms directly, but people have found loopholes in the process. “They are trying to sell it for cash,” she said.

Although she did not detail how many cases of fraud have been perpetrated or the amount of money lost, the minister said up to $110 can be provided per child for primary school students and $135 for high schools students.

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