How you can help detect fraud, save taxpayer dollars

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah — The Air Force Office of Special Investigations needs your help in identifying and reporting fraudulent activities.

Besides our general crimes, counterintelligence and research and technology protection missions a significant amount of AFOSI’s resources are assigned to fraud investigations. In the past few years, AFOSI has recovered well over a billion dollars defrauded from the Air Force worldwide.

This accomplishment is amazing, considering only 10 percent of fraudulent activity is reported or discovered.

Imagine how much money we could be recovering or saving if more people were educated on what to look for. Identifying fraudulent activity and recuperating funds can reduce the impact of budget constraints on base and family support programs.

So, don’t let anyone walk away with our money – every dollar matters!

We’ve all heard of fraud, but would you really know what it is if you saw it, and if so, do you know who to report it to?

What is fraud?

Fraud is defined as the crime of obtaining money or some other benefit by deliberate deception, usually for financial gain. Simply put, fraud is theft.

Unfortunately, it’s not always going to be that simple or obvious. Fraud comes in many forms and can often be difficult to identify. A few examples are public corruption (bribery), product substitution, cost mischarging, and defective pricing.

These can be complicated and are often concealed. Only those who are most familiar with the system can find ways to steal money or other products without setting off any alarms.

What are fraud indicators?

• Public corruption (bribery): Unnecessary or inappropriate purchases; questionable, improper or repeated selection of a particular supplier; unexplained increase in wealth standard of living by officials; questionable, undocumented or frequent change orders awarded to a particular contractor.

• Product substitution: Above average number of test or operations failures, early replacements, or high maintenance and repair costs; product tests performed or compliance certificate signed by unqualified or inappropriate personnel; test records reflect no failures; contractor selects samples for testing programs; photocopies submitted rather than originals; altered invoice or test records; improper sourcing for materials.

• Cost mischarging: Frequent labor cost transfers; initial billings for actual material cost different from agreed upon cost; poor documentation, illegible copies of supporting documentation for costs incurred; increase in labor hours with no corresponding increases in materials used or units shipped; charging costs to the buyer as warranty costs for the correction of known defects.

• Defective pricing: Discrepancy between quoted prices and actual prices; different people work on the contract than are named in the proposal or contract; materials, supplies and components used in production are different than those used in the proposal or contract.

How to report fraud or other criminal activity?

Contact AFOSI Det. 113 at 801-777-1852. Want to remain anonymous? You can submit an anonymous tip via text message by texting to 23674 and typing your tip in the body of the message.

You can also report online at https://www.tipsubmit.com/WebTips.aspx?AgencyID=1111 or email crime busters at hqafosi.watch@ogn.af.mil.

Help AFOSI protect our money and our resources!