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Welfare Fraud Prevention & Investigation (WFP&I)

The Welfare Fraud Prevention and Investigations Section is responsible for investigating and preventing fraud before and after benefits are issued. To prevent fraud, investigators work from district offices, field locations, and in criminal courts buildings.

Early Fraud Program
A gavel on top of hadcuffs and american money

There are Early Fraud investigators located at the district offices to detect and prevent welfare fraud before benefits are issued.  The investigators handle the Statewide Fingerprint Imaging System that capture fingerprint and photo images of all CalWORKs customers in California and General Relief customers in Los Angeles and other counties. 

Field/Prosecution Units

Field investigators look into fraud on both active and closed cases.
Their fraud investigation referrals come from:

  • Staff at the district offices
  • The Central Fraud Reporting Line
  • We Tip
  • Database matches such as wage and asset
  • Phone calls from the public
  • Other public and private agencies
Criminal Courts Building

Fraud investigators at the Criminal Courts Building in Los Angeles act as a Court Liaison to handle customers being charged with welfare fraud.
The investigators’ duties include:

  • Processing Arraignment Notices
  • Issuing subpoenas
  • Fingerprinting and photographing suspects prior to arraignment
  • Completing necessary paperwork to enter an Intentional Program              Violation sanction.
Common Welfare Fraud

The most common types of Welfare Fraud found during investigations are:

  • Absent parent in the home
  • Unreported income
  • Child(ren) out of the home
  • Residency (living outside of Los Angeles County or California)
Reporting Welfare Fraud

If you suspect that a person or family is committing welfare fraud, please report it to WFP&I at (800) 344-8477 or email at

Reporting Other Frauds

Child Abuse (800) 540-4000

Elder Abuse (213) 351-5401

In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) (800) 822-6222

Medi-Cal Fraud (800) 822-6222

Social Security Fraud (800) 269-0271

Report Fraud
A hand handing out a benefit card to another hand

You can report Welfare Fraud anonymously through any of the sources below:



Central Fraud Reporting Line (CFRL)



WeTip Anonymous Crime Reporting Hotline


Via Mail or In-Person at:

12000 Hawthorne Blvd.,
Hawthorne, Ca. 90250

Identify Theft

If you are a victim of identity theft, file a police report at your nearest Police or Sheriff station closest to where you live (California Penal Code Section 530.6).

General Statistics
  • Annually, field investigators handle 15,000 to 20,000 fraud cases or referrals
  • Annually, investigators find fraud on 5,000 to 8,000 cases
  • Each year, approximately 200 cases are sent to the District Attorney (DA) for potential prosecution
    •   95% of the cases result in conviction
    •   Most of the convicted cases will have a court-order to pay                      the County back
Fraud Hotlines
  • Central Fraud Reporting Line is county operated that began in 1978 under a mandate by the County Board of Supervisors
    • (800) 349-9970
  • We Tip Hotline receives reports of possible welfare fraud.  The public can call this number and remain anonymous
    • (800) 782-7463
  • Intake Unit accepts phone calls and has voicemail options for you to leave a message if you suspect any welfare fraud activity.
    • (310) 349-4609