Our New Interactive Online Resource for Understanding and Combatting Federal Fraud
Fraud hurts the integrity of federal programs and erodes the public’s trust in the government. To help fight fraud, we developed a new online interactive resource to inform federal officials, Congress, the media, and the public about fraud schemes and how to combat them.
Today’s WatchBlog post highlights our new Antifraud Resource.
What is fraud?
Fraud involves obtaining something of value through willful misrepresentation. Fraud schemes are wide-ranging and include fraudulently obtaining and using federal grant funds, inflating federal contract work invoices or using substandard materials, illegally using another person’s identity to obtain benefits such as Medicare or Medicaid, and more.
During the pandemic, many small businesses received federal loans in 2020 to help them overcome the economic challenges caused by the pandemic. But some individuals falsified their eligibility information to obtain these loans by creating fake employee and business records. This allowed them to appear eligible for these funds, which they may have then spent inappropriately to purchase personal luxury items.
Our Antifraud Resource outlines these and other fraud schemes—including those that are not necessarily linked to financial gain, such as fraud related to identity theft or immigration benefits.
Key Characteristics of Fraud Schemes Affecting the Federal Government
Why should you care about fraud?
The effects of fraud can be far reaching, but also personal. People affected by fraud (such as identity theft) may face financial hardships or feel that their reputations were hurt.
Fraud also undercuts the effectiveness of federal programs and the public’s trust in the government. It can also hinder the government’s ability to respond to national needs.
Additionally, fraud can have broader national economic effects, hurt public health and safety, and affect national security.
How can you help?
If you are concerned about fraud or want to learn more about how fraud affects federal programs and operations, our new interactive Antifraud Resource lets you look up common fraud schemes by agency, type of funding, type of fraud, and more.
If you suspect fraud, waste, abuse, or mismanagement of federal funds or in federal programs, you can report it to our FraudNet.
- Comments on GAO’s WatchBlog? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.