Australian welfare cheats are being busted by officials trawling their social media posts

Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images

Centrelink investigators are going through social media accounts of welfare recipients to catch out welfare cheats.

The Daily Telegraph is reporting that contractors employed by Centrelink are scanning, Facebook, Twitter and eBay accounts and have caught more than $2 million fraud.

They searching for anything from a person claiming unemployment benefits mentioning their job in a Facebook status to someone bragging about being single when claiming benefits for dependents.

The Department of Human services are even claiming that one couple who were claiming single payments were caught out after they posted a status on Twitter announcing they were expecting a baby together.

eBay has been a big ground for catching fraudsters too, with the Department’s Taskforce Integrity nabbing $1.7 million in fraud by searching for welfare recipients who were selling off items without declaring their profit as an income.

Overall, Taskforce Integrity is looking to crackdown on the $3 billion in overpayments to welfare recipients.

According to the Minister for Humans Services, Stuart Robert, the social media operations have lead to 3,072 compliance reviews, 1,888 cases of overpayment and five arrests on warrants for failing to attend court for welfare fraud offences.

“While most people receiving welfare payments are honest and do the right thing, there is a small segment of the community who still think it is okay to cheat the system,” Mr Robert said in a statement on Wednesday.

“Taskforce Integrity will continue to collaborate with its partner agencies to meet the challenges posed by welfare fraud and ensure those individuals who deliberately defraud the system are caught,” he said.

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