News & Resources

Washington State able to regain lost funds from fraudsters

Jan 21, 2011 Kyle Duncan

The Department of Labor and Industries' Fraud Prevention and Compliance Program in Washington was able to take in $137.4 million in 2010, according to a recently released report. The annual report from the government agency, titled Targeting Fraud and Abuse, revealed that the state of Washington was able to get back some of the misappropriated money through the fraud prevention program. A representative from the department said that new technology had helped his agency find those who had tried to illegally collect money from the state, a task which would have been much harder just a few years ago. "Finding fraud used to be like finding a needle in a haystack, dependent on anonymous tips and a little bit of luck," said Carl Hammersburg. "Our investments in targeting tools and outreach to drive referrals are paying off." Thanks to the efforts of the agency, the state was able to complete some 5,846 employer audits and assess $26.4 million owed. It took in $7 for every dollar invested and increased claim investigations by 12 percent from last year. Other states have tried to prevent fraud in recent weeks. The Indiana Secretary of State's office announced that it would be starting a new program to help protect seniors from investment scams.