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GAOverview: Fraudnet Activity Report for Fiscal Year 2022

GAO-23-106669 Published: Sep 12, 2023. Publicly Released: Sep 12, 2023.
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Fast Facts

GAO's FraudNet analysts manage a hotline for the public to report suspected fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement in government operations.

FraudNet analysts review every complaint submitted and refer those with merit to external agencies for potential investigation. Specifically, FraudNet analysts may refer complaints to federal inspectors general or directly to the relevant government agencies.

In fiscal year 2022, FraudNet processed over 10,000 complaints, which was significantly more than the previous 2 fiscal years. FraudNet referred 1,239 of those complaints to other agencies.

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Why This Matters

FraudNet’s primary mission is to facilitate the reporting of complaints of fraud, waste, abuse, or mismanagement of federal funds. It also supports GAO audits and investigations. This product provides a public report of FraudNet’s activities for fiscal year 2022.

FraudNet Processed 10,371 Complaints in Fiscal Year 2022

The public, including government employees and contractors, submitted 10,371 complaints in fiscal year 2022. As shown in the figure below, the number of complaints FraudNet processed in fiscal year 2022 was substantially greater than each of the previous 2 fiscal years. Of the total complaints received in fiscal year 2022, FraudNet referred 1,239 complaints to other agencies, including the Department of Justice.

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FraudNet’s Investigative Research Analysts reviewed every complaint received and evaluated it for merit and timeliness. The complaints included government subsidy fraud, ethics/conflict of interest/misconduct, and contractor/grantee fraud. More than half of the complaints received in fiscal year 2022 resulted from social media campaigns wherein complainants submitted form letters alleging the same fraud. In instances of repeated complaints, such as the form letters, FraudNet submitted a single referral to the relevant agency for action.

FraudNet makes many referrals to federal Offices of Inspector General. However, depending on the nature of the complaint, FraudNet may make referrals to other federal agencies, as well as state and local entities. Upon receipt of a referral, the receiving agency determines how they will address the complaint.

FraudNet Analysts Provided Research Support to GAO Audits and Investigations

FraudNet analysts supported approximately 40 requests from GAO teams conducting audits and investigations in fiscal year 2022. These requests involved analysts researching individuals and businesses in investigative databases. For example, FraudNet conducted research on registered lobbyists to inform GAO’s mandated annual review of compliance with the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995.

FraudNet’s Accessibility has Expanded Since Its 1979 Creation

GAO established the FraudNet hotline in 1979 as a means for U.S. taxpayers to directly report to GAO information concerning alleged misuse of government funds.  In its first 9 years, the hotline received more than 94,000 calls. Over the years, FraudNet expanded its accessibility by incorporating email and the internet as a means for the public to report possible instances of fraud, waste, abuse and mismanagement.

Report Fraud, Waste, and Abuse, and Mismanagement

Anyone can contact FraudNet’s hotline to report suspected fraud, waste, abuse, or mismanagement of federal funds. The website is the preferred reporting method:



Telephone: 1-800-424-5454

GAO does not independently investigate complaints at the request of the individual(s) who reported them. FraudNet documents all complaints received and makes them available to any ongoing or future GAO work. As appropriate, FraudNet refers allegations to the relevant external agency for consideration of further action.

For more information, contact Howard Arp at (202) 512-5222 or

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