The following research article reviews the profile and motives of benefit fraudsters. Using content analysis of existing research and thematic analysis of benefit fraud interview transcripts, this article offers a better understanding of who the offenders are and their motives. The findings establish that benefit fraud is motivated by need or greed, with opportunity frequently acting as a stimulus. Empirical evidence suggests that the reasons for committing benefit fraud are wide-ranging and can be explained by a number of criminological perspectives, including strain (Merton, 1938, 1957), rational choice (Becker, 1968, 1976; Clarke and Felson, 2004), differential association (Sutherland, 1947) and social disorganisation (Shaw and McKay, 1942). The article concludes by suggesting changes to counter fraud strategies and public policy, which could reduce the level of benefit fraud.
|Number of pages||18|
|Publication status||Published - 2011|