EUR 1.7 million damage – social fraud: 421 Styrian cases in one year
1.7 million euros: That’s how high the damage was in those Styrian cases that the young “Task Force Social Security Fraud” processed last year. Of the 447 suspects, 158 were Austrians.
Only a few days ago, the Styrian balance sheet on social benefit fraud in 2022 was available, now also the nationwide one. The numbers are higher here for Styria – many social benefits (such as unemployment benefits) are not a matter for the state, but for the federal government. The Ministry of the Interior has broken down the numbers in a query to the FPÖ. Specifically, the “Task Force Social Security Fraud” dealt with 421 suspected cases in Styria last year with a total loss of 1.7 million euros. This affected 447 suspects. The most strongly represented nations: 158 Austrians, 68 people from Bosnia-Herzegovina, 40 Croats, 25 Romanians and 22 Syrians. False registrations, false information The request also related to some specific Styrian cases, the ministry reveals details: A 65-year-old Slovene is said to have registered three compatriots as subtenants so that they could receive benefits from the AMS and the pension insurance (damage 20,445.44 euros). A 50-year-old Nigerian has received exactly 38,533.50 euros too much from the AMS since 2018 because he has not reported his income. The man is also said to have illegally exported hazardous waste and old tires to Africa. A Bosnian who works and lives in western Styria had reported his three children to himself – in reality they lived with his wife in Bosnia. The Ministry of Finance therefore wrongly transferred 20,827.20 euros to family allowance. “More control bodies are needed” “It is clear from the response to the inquiry that the majority of suspects come from abroad,” says FPÖ member of the National Council Hannes Amesbauer. “More control bodies are needed in order to be able to fight such cases better preventively. The establishment of a survey service at the level of the Styrian provincial administration would be enormously important. In any case, the police are doing a very good job in this area.”