Lake County department works to get word out during Public Assistance Fraud Awareness Month
The Lake County Job and Family Services Department has stepped up its effort to raise awareness to prevent public assistance fraud.
May is Public Assistance Fraud Awareness Month in Ohio and the county department wants to spread the word through a campaign called Fraud Costs All of Us.
The billboard will run a series of fraud prevention messages in May and JFS has purchased green grocery bags to distribute to the community with the Fraud Costs theme.
The vast majority of people who apply for our programs are honest and give us legitimate information, said Matt Battiato, JFS Department director. However, sometimes there are people who are trying to gain access to public systems that they ar adidas originals en t really entitled to by not being honest.
We have a responsibility to be diligent in terms of investigating those types of situations and this is an opportunity for us though the month of May to publicize that we are trying to be as diligent as we can for those types of situations.
In 2013, county agencies in Ohio recovered adidas originals more than $11.3 million in overpayments to program recipients, according to the Lake County JFS Department.
Lake County collected more than $246,000 of that total to rank 13th in the state.
The most common cases of fraud involve a person s deliberate failure to accurately report their household circumstances that result in receiving benefits for which they are not entitled, officials said.
People found to commit fraud are removed from the program, must repay any improperly obtained benefits and may face criminal charges and jail time.
Public assistance fraud has widespread negative effects on the taxpayers and it hurts the public s pe adidas originals rception of safety net programs that otherwise improve the quality of life in our communities, said Robert Dawson, JFS program administrator. Our staff works diligently to deter illegal fraud on a day to date basis. We urge all citizens to report any suspicion adidas originals s of fraud to a new fraud website.