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Benefits cheat blamed 'evil twin'

A benefit fraudster claiming his wife was his sister and a woman saying she needed the cash for satellite TV are examples of excuses benefit fraud investigators have heard over the last year.

One claimant - using a fake ID - said her skin colour had changed after a road accident, one man blamed his evil twin, while another claimed she was not in a relationship but just had a three-night stand resulting in three children over five years.

The excuses are revealed as the Government announces a new campaign starting this autumn to target benefit fraudsters - encouraging claimants to come clean about changes to their circumstances and urging the public to call the National Benefit Fraud Hotline.

The man from Worcester who tried to convince officials that his wife was his sister still did not stop pretending even when investigators held up their wedding certificate, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) said.

"That was a drunken mistake," he said, when proof of his marriage was presented to him.

A claimant in West Lothian tried to explain her reason for falsely claiming: "I needed the money to pay for TV in each of the five bedrooms, as the kids have ADHT, and I have to keep them in."

She failed to mention the children no longer lived with her.

In an identity fraud trial, the alleged fraudster from London claimed she was a white female depicted in photos even though her skin colour was black and suggesting her face had changed shape following a car crash.

A claimant from Glasgow told officials they had confused him with his "evil twin brother", but was found to have passports in his own name and in the identity of his "twin". Both passports listed all his own children.

Protesting his innocence, he said: "You have me confused with my evil twin brother. He lives in Pakistan and visits the UK regularly. My brother has children born on the same dates with the same names."

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