Wrongfully obtaining/receiving assistance is a crime. Fraud investigations include investigations of clients and vendors, persons trying to wrongfully receive assistance and those already receiving assistance.
Fraud may be occurring if people receiving or applying for public assistance:
- Do not report all income (earned and/or unearned);
- Incorrectly report people living in the home;
- Misuse Food Support benefits or EBT cards;
- Falsify information on an application;
- Do not report property and/or assets owned by anyone living in the household;
- Receive benefits from more than one state at a time;
- Lie about where they live.
Violations of fraud statutes may have both criminal and civil sanctions. Once the criminal portion is adjudicated or the prosecuting authority decides not to pursue the action, the criminal investigative data may revert to civil investigative data. When a civil investigation becomes inactive, the data accumulated would become public unless the release of the information would jeopardize a current ongoing civil investigation or the data is classified as not public by the Data Practices Act or another statute.
Welfare Fraud Prevention Goals
Renville County Human Services’ goals are to discourage fraud through public education and awareness, public identification of what is welfare fraud; detect and prevent welfare fraud by protecting the State of Minnesota’s Public Assistance Benefit Programs; and increase public confidence in the administration of public assistance programs.
Reporting Suspected Fraud
- If you suspect someone of misusing or abusing Minnesota assistance programs, please call Renville County Human Services at (320) 523-3830 or Welfare Fraud Hotline Toll Free at 1-800-627-9977. You may remain anonymous.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Complete fraud referral form: https://fraudhotline.dhs.mn.gov/