'Barefaced cheek' of benefit cheats
Benefit fraudsters have been caught making up "ridiculous" excuses to cover up their crime, according to a list drawn up by the Government.
People making false claims for benefit told inspectors they did not realise they were on benefit, must have had their identity stolen - or had an identical twin making claims.
Ministers published the list to highlight the £1.6 billion of taxpayer's money lost through fraud in benefits and tax credits each year.
A survey by fraud investigators revealed their top 10 worst excuses used by benefit cheats, including: 'We don't live together he just comes each morning to fill up his flask', 'I wasn't using the ladders to clean windows, I carried them for therapy for my bad back', 'I had no idea my wife was working! I never noticed her leaving the house twice a day in a fluorescent jacket and a Stop Children sign', and 'My wallet was stolen so someone must have been using my identity, I haven't been working'.
Others who were caught red-handed claimed: 'I didn't declare my savings because I didn't save them, they were given to me', 'He lives in a caravan in the drive, we're not together, 'He does come here every night and leave in the morning and although he has no other address I don't regard him as living here' and 'It wasn't me working, it was my identical twin'.
Lord Freud, Welfare Reform Minister, said: "Benefit fraud is no joke, and yet our investigators are routinely dealing with barefaced cheek and ridiculous excuses for stealing money from the taxpayer.
"Universal Credit will simplify and automate the benefits system. This will make it much easier to catch people who make false claims."