How criminal gangs use Photoshop to scam £8.5bn in benefit fraud scheme – can you spot what's wrong with these pictures? | The Sun

CRIMINAL gangs used Photoshop to scam the Department for Work and Pensions out of £8.5billion last year.

The swindlers have been editing themselves into screenshots taken from Google Maps in a bid to outsmart counterfraud officers,

But the DWP was able to weed out nearly 172,000 dodgy applications last year, reports The Times.

Photos show some examples of the benefit fraud scheme – with people claiming to be standing by their front door.

These scammers had been asked by the DWP to take the photos after they had become suspicious that they were claiming benefits in the UK while living abroad.

When the DWP received the photos, their team was easily able to spot that the photos were counterfeit.


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The backgrounds of the sham pics were clearly taken from Google Street View – with the people edited in on Photoshop.

It's thought the DWP review team’s eagle eyes saved the British taxpayer £2billion last year – however bogus claims reportedly still reached £8.5 billion.

And staff at the Counter Fraud, Compliance and Debt Directorate believe it is gangs behind many of the fraudulent claims.

The suspicion arose after one analyst noticed that the same lime green door appeared in multiple photographs offered by claimants seeking to prove they lived in the UK. 

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Tom Pursglove, minister of state for disabled people, health and work said: “That doorway, which criminals see as the gateway to success in terms of defrauding, is significant. That’s a pretty expensive picture.”

One staff at the Counter Fraud, Compliance and Debt Directorate explained: “During the last two years the team have received thousands of manipulated and constructed documents to try and pursue claims whilst being abroad. 

“Once this pattern is identified, the fraud officers very quickly share this intelligence with other offices across the country to make sure that if any more of these photographs are supplied that they know are part of the same batch of claimants.

“These skilled fraud officers can quickly detect and prevent and repair any fraud area that’s emerging and they have to be much more experienced looking at these fraud trends.”

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