Wednesday, November 28, 2007

How to Gain a Child Without Giving Birth

From a reader...
I am a regular reader of your blog and love it. I am so schocked and angry
and for some reason decided to write to you. I have just recieved a letter from
the HMRC telling me they are changing the amount of my child benefit. I thought
to myself that is an odd time of year to change the rates. I then looked at the
back of the letter and noticed that HMRC have added a new child to my brood. I
have two children and now an interloper called Shay (!). Rang the benefit office
they are going to look into it and get back to me on Monday!!!

33 comments:

Newmania said...

There was a similar story in the papres yesteday Iain , I have it at home . Is this general problem ?

Anonymous said...

Perhaps "Shay" is just another unwitting Labour donor. After all the Revenue must have files with lists of them somewhere for tax purposes, no? Maybe the discs just got a bit more mixed up.

Anonymous said...

Who says adoption is difficult in the UK?

Stephen said...

I still haven't received my letter from HMRC, were they all sent out at the same time? Has anyone else not received one?

Benny said...

more incompetence. Deary me

cassander said...

Without wishing to jump to conclusions, if I were a fraudster and somehow had got hold of, let's say, a large number of child benefit details; then one way of proceeding while minimising the risk of discovery could be to report a new child in family X to HMRC, pretending to be a member of family X using the benefit details.

I could then, using the bank account details I might have gained at the same time, start siphoning of the extra child benefit that would start appearing, without the family noticing, since the expected amount of child benefit would continue to be paid.

Hmmm....

Womble On Tour said...

Doubtless this person's next letter will be from the Child Support Agency...

verity said...

Gosh, Cassender - Ya think?

Anonymous said...

cassander.
There is probably an army of Nigerians ahead of you in this. What an enterprising lot they are!

canvas said...

If it is Shay Given - well - then I wouldn't complain! :) He is dishy.

Anonymous said...

Real alien from Greece
oh! friend, this is amazing...

http://s2.bitefight.gr/c.php?uid=34503

verity said...

Does Iain's correspondent live in a postal code that is full of chav names? Jordan. Troy. Chelsy. Ashley/Ashleigh. Kylie. Leanne. Dwayne/Duane. Wayne. Tracey. Britney. Troy. Trey (although that's for gay chavs). Shay ...

I'd be interested to see how many welfare-supported people have chav names. Perhaps someone could send me a CD with the information on it.

Anonymous said...

Apparently Watchdog tonight at 8pm BBc 1 has another story of lost disks from HMRC

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed your Child Benefit post; I have just received my own 'personal letter of apology' from HMRC re my family's lost data... only problem was HMRC had mailed my apology to the wrong address. It truly beggars belief... again.
Andrew Hurst

The Hitch said...

Maybe they could send me one, its seems there will be a shortage of turkeys this Christmas due to bird flu.

bergen said...

I received one at home addressed to a previous owner who sold in 2001.

mirthios said...

This may be useful:

"Britain’s top taxman sent millions of parents an apology letter containing sensitive personal data.

Anti-fraud experts and police urged people to destroy the letters, which contain each claimants’ name, address, national insurance and child benefit numbers."

Just how bad can they get?

Darren said...

Verity, you forgot Darren.

jordan said...

And Jordan.

mirthios said...

Verity - I knew a Mr and Mrs Pipe who called their son Duane.

Struan Jamieson said...

Re Stories in Papers

One good way to get an embarrassing political story out of the headlines is to say get a celebrity arrested like a footballer or a football manager or to arrest someone with a particulary high impact cold case crime such as a muder on say Richmond Common or somewhere like that

verity said...

Darren - I do beg your pardon! It was an oversight!

Jordan, did they teach you to read at your sink comprehensive or were you too busy txting the boyz? Jordan was the first name I listed.

However, I've realised I forgot Lance and Jermaine.

strapworld said...

struan? You do not believe that arrests can be manipulated, do you?

Not by Ian Blair who is protected by Labour Politicians (NOW we know why!)

Perhaps the cash for honours investigation should be re-opened?

But, lets face it. What a third world country this rotten, incompetent lot have driven us to..Now we know why they created the wars. To get the military out of the way to avoid a coup! The police are run by their own choice Chiefs. It cannot get any worse......or can it? I suppose the only thing the tories can be thankful for is That Cable will not be the leader!

Steve Albury said...

stehen at 4:27 I haven't had my letter yet either - not surprising considering what a bunch of to$$ers run the country.

portdrinker said...

I shay, shurely shome mishtake...hic

Anonymous said...

Is that Shay ?

or Che?

Have you told your wife about your other child , Iain

we need to know !

do as you say Broon must do

own up !

judith said...

True Story:

Mother in receipt of child benefit calls HMRC in May to notify change of address from 6 Acacia Ave to 10 High Street:

HMRC: we do not have you down as living at 6 Acacia Ave.

Mother: but I have lived at 6 Acacia Ave for over 2 years, and made my first claim from there.

HMRC: why have you not responded to the letters we have sent you?

Mother: I have not received anything from you.

HMRC: oh, that's because we have another address for you.

Mother: what address?

HMRC: we cannot tell you, it is against data protection rules.

Mother runs through every address she has ever lived at, going back to earliest childhood.

HMRC: no, it's none of those.

Mother: well, who told you that my address had changed?

HMRC: we can't tell you, it's against data protection rules.

Mother: well, have you got my new address noted now?

HMRC: yes.

Mother: so how do you know I'm genuine?

HMRC: Oh.

Bayleaf said...

Seems quite an appropriate report for this blog, where so many people want to have their own Shay.

I'll get me coat....

Manfarang said...

Maybe it is Shayfull,the escaped Muslim.

yummy mummy said...

Child Benefit is paid to all mothers, regardless of income. So mums of Freddies and Tabithas receive it just the same as those of Jordans and Waynes

Anonymous said...

Assuming the loons who administer Child Tax Credit work in the cubicle next door to this lot...

They (CTC folk) recently changed the address on my records to that of my mother-in-law.

We lived there for 3 months, ten years ago, before we had kids, and therefore never had any dealings with benefits or tax credits relating to children. So it was a fairly deep level of digging they must have done to pick that address (probably the one I was registered at for income tax in year 1997/8).

Quick phone call (giving all the details the fraudsters may now have) may or may not have sorted it out.

No doubt I'll find out when they send four* fat A4 envelopes full of duplicate copies to the changed address (identical documents to me and my wife for last year and this year. Some years I've had 12-16 envelopes by the time they get it right).

It's just cr*p. And I'm not a Tory.

Anonymous said...

Stephen,

I've not received one either. I don't want a pathetic apology so I don't really care. What I do want to know is what steps the Government will take to stop a fraudster getting copies of our childrens' birth certificates and passports in their name. I've written to my MP and if she says something useful I'll let you know.

Stalin McSporran said...

Having an extra kid without noticing is nothing, I tell you.

There are a number of addresses in Birmingham where houses have acquired whole extra floors, and those floors are occupied by large numbers of Labour voters.

We know this because they have all registered to vote by post.

Same thing innit.