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Fraud Investigations

To report suspected welfare fraud in Mecklenburg County please telephone our Fraud Unit at 704-353-0600 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. You will be able to speak to an Investigator trained in collecting the necessary information.  Outside of regular business hours you may call our 24-hour automated Welfare Fraud Hotline number at 704-353-0400. All information you provide is confidential, and you can remain anonymous.

The Fraud Investigations Unit is a program support unit that devotes maximum efforts toward the prevention, detection, and recovery of overpayments in the public assistance programs. Cases are referred to this unit to investigate possible welfare fraud and abuse, and when possible, recoup benefits issued erroneously. In addition to collecting monies after an overpayment has occurred, "front-end" investigations are also conducted on high-risk cases in an effort to prevent overpayments.

The unit also seeks to maintain the integrity of the public assistance programs by deterring fraud through education, early detection, and prosecution. The crime of welfare fraud is committed when people receive or attempt to receive welfare benefits by providing the Department of Social Services with false and inaccurate information, or by withholding information needed to correctly determine eligibility for welfare benefits.

The Mecklenburg County Department of Social Services was the first in North Carolina to employ a County Attorney to (cross designated as an Assistant District Attorney) prosecute welfare fraud. Pam Baker, Assistant District Attorney, began working part-time in May 1999 solely prosecuting welfare fraud cases from the Mecklenburg County Department of Social Services. This part-time position is the result of a unique partnership created by the DSS Director and Mecklenburg County District Attorney Peter Gilchrist. This position provides the understaffed and underfunded District Attorney's office with assistance in handling part of its heavy caseload and ensures that DSS fraud cases are criminally prosecuted in Mecklenburg County. To date, there has been a 100% prosecution rate, involving 93 cases totaling $227,000:

  • 49 misdemeanor
  • 44 felonies

Only one went to court.

Another innovation in the Fraud Investigation Unit is to run data matches in cities surrounding Mecklenburg County - to find if recipients were "double dipping". A recent data match conducted revealed that:

  • Out of nearly 100,000 individuals searched for duplication of benefits - there were only 36 hits.

Again, to report suspected welfare fraud in Mecklenburg County please telephone our Fraud Unit at 704-353-0600 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. You will be able to speak to an Investigator trained in collecting the necessary information. Outside of regular business hours you may call our 24-hour automated Welfare Fraud Hotline number at 704-353-0400

All information you provide is confidential, and you can remain anonymous.



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