More than 9,000 cases of social fraud reported in Belgium in 2021
There were 9,125 cases of social fraud in 2021 reported to the Belgian government's Contact Point for Fair Competition, a tip-off service for social fraud, according to the Belga News Agency.
Belgians can report companies and individuals under suspicion for a number of matters, such as having failed to pay social contributions, taking advantage of Belgium's benefits systems, exploiting workers or providing unsafe working environments which are against Belgian law.
All reports to the contact point have to be made disclosing the full name and information of the complainant. The Belgian government does not accept anonymous complaints made against companies or individuals.
The tip-off service, however, assures that individuals will never have their identity revealed by the government, even in the case that the complaint goes to court.
More than half of the reports (4,669) made to the complaints line concerned suspected undeclared or illegal employment. The hotline also received 1,890 reports for breaches of health and safety measures.
In 2021, the Belgian government's fight against social fraud added €342 million to the government budget , according to figures from the Information and Social Research office (SIRS).
The largest source of fraud, the data revealed, was from social security contributions. Almost €11 million was recovered from individuals who had failed to pay their contributions.
The contact point received 1,181 complaints about fraud relating to domiciliation, namely undeclared cohabitation or change of address.
© Belga Photo (John THYS / AFP) A customs officer inspects the dormitory of workers of an illegal cigarette smuggling site during a raid in Aartselaar, near Brussels, on August 4, 2021.