The Independent has today published figures showing that 87% of tip-offs to the DWP about benefit fraud were closed because there was little or no evidence of fraud.
In the two financial years 2015-2017 a total of 332,850 cases were closed after reports by members of the public.
Of these, a total of 287,950 were found to have little or no evidence to support them.
The Independent does not say what happened with the rest.
However, many of those will have been investigated and found not to have involved fraud either, once the evidence had been properly examined.
There is no doubt that the political and media driven hatred of claimants has led to a huge number of reports by prejudiced neighbours and even friends and relatives.
It is also certain that in some cases the anonymous tip-off is made by someone who knows it isn’t true but simply has a grudge to settle.
Even where no action is taken, any claimant who has been subject to a fraud investigation can attest to what an utterly distressing experience it is.
Because the source of the allegations is never disclosed it can also leave claimants feeling deeply distrustful of everyone around them.
The fact that almost nine out of ten allegations are unfounded clearly indicates that an anonymous tip-off system has no place in a civilised benefits system.
Have you, or someone you know, been the subject of a malicious tip-off? Let us know about your experience in the comments section below.