HUNDREDS of Brits are said to be cheating the UK welfare system from the safe haven of the Costa del Sol.
The coast – long a haven for fugitive conmen, fraudsters and drug barons – is now home to the new evolution of benefits scamming, claims the UK government.
Dubbed ‘abroad fraud’, the problem is so bad that the Department of Work and Pensions has now launched a dedicated team in Madrid, solely to tackle the cheats.
Spain sees more cases of suspected UK benefit fraud than any other country – in 2013, there were 769 suspected cases, compared to 628 in Pakistan and 298 in Turkey.
Across the world last year, Brits living overseas scammed more than €103 million from the British taxpayer – twice as much as in 2011.
Investigators have followed up 1,267 calls since 2008, leading to the recovery of more than €6 million of taxpayers’ money.