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  • Trinidad & Tobago

    Election 2020

August 10,2020
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Wednesday 5 August, 2020

Food card fraud: Some trying to defraud the State

There have been incidents of attempted fraudulent activities by persons attempting to access food support whilst already in possession of a food card. 

The Ministry of Social Development and Family Services on Friday advised that there are some who have been trying to exploit the structured relief programme to provide social assistance introduced to assist citizens affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Ministry said there have been attempts at fraud with its other grants.

People have been applying for the rental grant, intended for payment of rent for housing accommodation, but using it to pay commercial rent.

Persons preparing falsified employment letters stating that they have been laid off from work due to COVID when they were never employed.

Employers have reportedly also been part of these attempts at fraud. The Ministry said some employers have requested that applicants take a salary cut, and apply for the grant to make up the difference, so that the employer could continue to make money at the expense of the government.

The Ministry highlighted that in other instances, people are claiming to be renters at a location for seven years, the recommender claiming that they know them at that location for 10 years and the landlord attesting that the applicant has been renting at that location for only six months.

The Ministry urged citizens to do the right thing.

It made it clear that those who engage is such activity will be dealt with in accordance with law.

“The Government will not tolerate the indecency of any citizen who attempts to defraud the system. Recommenders are urged to verify all persons before signing.  Persons who are guilty of any of these actions will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

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