Advice Only for Greater Anglia - Delay Repay Fraud

lufcjack

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26 Jan 2017
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I’ve had a letter from GA telling me that some delay repay claims look suspicious, with a list of 5 or 6 claims from February/March 2020 and asking for an explanation within seven days.

1) is it reasonable at this stage to ask them for details as to why they think the claims are suspicious?
2) are there any similar threads on here that I can’t see - or does anyone have experience of dealing with this? Any signposting/guidance appreciated.

As a (previous) 4/5 day a week commuter I obviously can’t remember delays from almost a year ago. Thanks in advance.
 
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matt_world2004

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I’ve had a letter from GA telling me that some delay repay claims look suspicious, with a list of 5 or 6 claims from February/March 2020 and asking for an explanation within seven days.

1) is it reasonable at this stage to ask them for details as to why they think the claims are suspicious?
2) are there any similar threads on here that I can’t see - or does anyone have experience of dealing with this? Any signposting/guidance appreciated.

As a (previous) 4/5 day a week commuter I obviously can’t remember delays from almost a year ago. Thanks in advance.
Would you have been going to work that day or another regular location?
 

gray1404

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Some further details about the claim would be useful. Can you think of any reasons why GA might raise an eye brow at the claims?
 

Haywain

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I’ve had a letter from GA telling me that some delay repay claims look suspicious, with a list of 5 or 6 claims from February/March 2020 and asking for an explanation within seven days.

1) is it reasonable at this stage to ask them for details as to why they think the claims are suspicious?
2) are there any similar threads on here that I can’t see - or does anyone have experience of dealing with this? Any signposting/guidance appreciated.

As a (previous) 4/5 day a week commuter I obviously can’t remember delays from almost a year ago. Thanks in advance.
This has probably come up due to an audit and if something is leading them to consider taking further action, such as court action, it is reasonable for them to ask questions. Whilst you may not be able to remember delays from that period, you should consider what you can remember and only you will know whether you made claims that might look suspicious for reasons such as being delayed on different trains on each occasion.
 

MotCO

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Are you a regular commuter, i.e. catching the same trains each day?

1) If you catch the same trains each day, do you remember a series of delays to your journey to work, for example, was your usual train often cancelled?
2) If you catch different trains each day, the TOC may have noticed that those trains 'just happened' to be the ones delayed.

It is probably too long afrer the event to look at train records for those days, but can you prove when you started work on each of these days, e.g. by looking at when you logged onto your computer, sent the first email, signed in/out etc? However, I am not a lawyer, but is the onus on the TOC to prove that you committed a fraud rather than you to prove your innocence?
 

furlong

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If all your claims have always been genuine then I'd suggest just sending a succinct response to reassure the company of that fact, No need to engage with any of the detail as, given they were genuine, they'll be unable to prove otherwise. If you have easily available evidence or information that supports that position, of course you might consider offering it. However, if you're not sure if all your claims were 100% correct or whether you might have made a mistake with any of them then you might want to be more cautious in your response and ask where they think you might have made a mistake.
 

SickyNicky

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We probably have live running data available from a year ago, if it would help.
 

_toommm_

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Might it be worth looking at your location history on Google Maps for those days if that’s something you have turned on? This may be enough to jog your memory as to what you did that day.
 

Tazi Hupefi

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Just a cursory comment that if the claims date from February or March 2020, if fraud is suspected, the only way this can be dealt with is via the Crown Court at trial on indictment. This is because the 6 month period has passed for prosecutions in the Magistrates' Court.

My advice is to carefully consider your position. If you have indeed even possibly submitted a potentially dubious claim, (regardless of value), you ought to obtain legal advice. If you have used a smartcard, then you REALLY need to consider your position, because they will likely compare tap in and tap out times at ticket barriers / on board inspection taps / platform validator machines against your claimed "delayed" journeys.

Section 2(1) - Fraud Act 2006 is the only criminal offence I believe is potentially suitable. Because this can now only be dealt with at the Crown Court, the maximum penalty is 10 years imprisonment, or the "statutory maximum" fine. If all 5 or 6 of the claims were actually fraudulent (hypothetically), being sent to prison (probably for 6-12 months) is a possibility, as it would show a repeated, blatant and intentional fraud, it's not just a "one off".

Given the severity though, at least potentially, I'd not post too much information on this forum, and I would seek professional legal advice. If you cannot afford it, you should not comment at all, and if the matter does progress to court, and subject to your financial circumstances, legal aid may be available.

Another thought I've just had is that it wouldn't surprise me if during the current "quiet" period, revenue protection or investigation staff are probably re-tasked with spending more time "auditing" previous claims (and probably other railway matters generally) as suggested by another forum user before.
 
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Undiscovered

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Do you still have the paper correspondence you sent/received regarding the claims? Or has a copy of the online form been sent to an email account?
 

jumble

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Just a cursory comment that if the claims date from February or March 2020, if fraud is suspected, the only way this can be dealt with is via the Crown Court at trial on indictment. This is because the 6 month period has passed for prosecutions in the Magistrates' Court.

My advice is to carefully consider your position. If you have indeed even possibly submitted a potentially dubious claim, (regardless of value), you ought to obtain legal advice. If you have used a smartcard, then you REALLY need to consider your position, because they will likely compare tap in and tap out times at ticket barriers / on board inspection taps / platform validator machines against your claimed "delayed" journeys.

Section 2(1) - Fraud Act 2006 is the only criminal offence I believe is potentially suitable. Because this can now only be dealt with at the Crown Court, the maximum penalty is 10 years imprisonment, or the "statutory maximum" fine. If all 5 or 6 of the claims were actually fraudulent (hypothetically), being sent to prison (probably for 6-12 months) is a possibility, as it would show a repeated, blatant and intentional fraud, it's not just a "one off".

Given the severity though, at least potentially, I'd not post too much information on this forum, and I would seek professional legal advice. If you cannot afford it, you should not comment at all, and if the matter does progress to court, and subject to your financial circumstances, legal aid may be available.

Another thought I've just had is that it wouldn't surprise me if during the current "quiet" period, revenue protection or investigation staff are probably re-tasked with spending more time "auditing" previous claims (and probably other railway matters generally) as suggested by another forum user before.

I struggle to understand what benefit the OP will obtain by seeking Legal Advice at this stage as I am not sure what a solicitor might advise beyond wait and see if they claim to have have any evidence
My advice is to for the OP to ask GA why they consider the claims suspicious.

I think that suggestions of 12 Months porridge is scaremongering as you and I both know is most unlikely and is not really helpful
 

Tazi Hupefi

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If there are 5 or 6 intentionally fraudulent delay repay claims, and the fact it's in the Crown Court, if a prosecution does result, prison is a very strong possibility. If you Google "Delay Repay Fraud" almost every person has been jailed or received a suspended custodial sentence.
 

Haywain

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If there are 5 or 6 intentionally fraudulent delay repay claims, and the fact it's in the Crown Court, if a prosecution does result, prison is a very strong possibility. If you Google "Delay Repay Fraud" almost every person has been jailed or received a suspended custodial sentence.
Probably because the only cases making the news are those for very significant amounts.
 

WesternLancer

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maybe see what their train running performance stats were for the time period (eg % trains delayed) and then draw that to the attention of the audit team....

If they have time on their hands, I wonder if they have managed to trace all the other passengers on delayed trains and helped them claim their compensation owed?
 

Fawkes Cat

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maybe see what their train running performance stats were for the time period (eg % trains delayed) and then draw that to the attention of the audit team....

If they have time on their hands, I wonder if they have managed to trace all the other passengers on delayed trains and helped them claim their compensation owed?
No.

It really isn’t going to be a good idea to get the other side’s back up. The OP presumably wants the railway to go away and stop bothering them. Challenging them on an issue which is at best irrelevant and at worst likely to suggest that the OP has an agenda involving claiming delay repay which is not due according to the rules will not encourage the railway to go away: rather, it will encourage them to probe more deeply since the behaviour is what one might expect from someone with something to hide.

This is not to say that one should not be robust in responding: my impression is that the general tone of the response here is that the OP should try to see what records they have to demonstrate that their claims were genuine, and then tell the railway that (without necessarily explaining to the railway what records they have). And I would endorse that approach: it doesn’t seem that the railway have yet shown their hand of why they think that the OP may have overclaimed so I don’t see why the OP should start by showping theirs. But robust is not the same as evasive.
 

jumble

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If there are 5 or 6 intentionally fraudulent delay repay claims, and the fact it's in the Crown Court, if a prosecution does result, prison is a very strong possibility. If you Google "Delay Repay Fraud" almost every person has been jailed or received a suspended custodial sentence.

I agree with Haywain
It is a bit of a stretch to suggest that a couple of bogus claims will incur the same penalties as someone setting up 125 different identities and claiming nearly 40K
( which only attracted a suspended in any event)
I would suggest that for someone claiming less than £200 who has a clean record the chances of going to prison are close to Zero and any suggestion otherwise is scaremongering
 

Haywain

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I would suggest that for someone claiming less than £200 who has a clean record the chances of going to prison are close to Zero and any suggestion otherwise is scaremongering
I would go as far as to suggest that in such an instance agreeing an out of court settlement would be likely.
 

WesternLancer

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No.

It really isn’t going to be a good idea to get the other side’s back up. The OP presumably wants the railway to go away and stop bothering them. Challenging them on an issue which is at best irrelevant and at worst likely to suggest that the OP has an agenda involving claiming delay repay which is not due according to the rules will not encourage the railway to go away: rather, it will encourage them to probe more deeply since the behaviour is what one might expect from someone with something to hide.

This is not to say that one should not be robust in responding: my impression is that the general tone of the response here is that the OP should try to see what records they have to demonstrate that their claims were genuine, and then tell the railway that (without necessarily explaining to the railway what records they have). And I would endorse that approach: it doesn’t seem that the railway have yet shown their hand of why they think that the OP may have overclaimed so I don’t see why the OP should start by showping theirs. But robust is not the same as evasive.
Of course you are quite right about all this....
 

robbeech

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However, I am not a lawyer, but is the onus on the TOC to prove that you committed a fraud rather than you to prove your innocence?
Generally in law yes, however, the railway seemingly (based on evidence from several cases brought to light on this forum and beyond) are in no way obliged to follow this.

Might it be worth looking at your location history on Google Maps for those days if that’s something you have turned on? This may be enough to jog your memory as to what you did that day.
Indeed, a useful thing to jog your memory as to where you were to help you to perhaps find more evidence but sadly (as above, as shown from previous cases highlighted here) this sort of thing is not suitable evidence of your location on its own, contrary to popular belief.
 

Watershed

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Generally in law yes, however, the railway seemingly (based on evidence from several cases brought to light on this forum and beyond) are in no way obliged to follow this.
The 'presumption of innocence' only applies when a case is being heard in Court, and only in criminal cases at that. Of course most people don't want to risk their day in Court, so they're highly likely to agree to settlements - even if they didn't do anything wrong - if the railway makes an accusation against them and threatens to prosecute/claim.

The problem here arises because our legal system allows private prosecutions, and even goes so far as to delegate private entities like TOCs the right to issue their own summonses and SJPNs. The normal checks and balances of the judicial system are completely sidestepped by this, and since private prosecutions inherently involve a conflict of interests, there is no place for such biased systems in a modern society.
 

_toommm_

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Indeed, a useful thing to jog your memory as to where you were to help you to perhaps find more evidence but sadly (as above, as shown from previous cases highlighted here) this sort of thing is not suitable evidence of your location on its own, contrary to popular belief.
Yep, Google suggests where it thinks you were, for example a shop or a café, but you can edit locations to make it look like you were at the other end of the country.
 

ainsworth74

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The discussion around whether a journey log would be useful or not is getting rather off-topic so has been moved to a new thread which you can find here. As a reminder we do ask that those who are giving advice follow the below guidance:

Guidance for those responding to any thread in this section:

The purpose of the Disputes and Prosecutions forum is to provide advice for anyone who has encountered difficulties during or after their rail journey.

Regardless of whether the person in question admits their guilt, or believes that they are completely innocent, everyone who seeks help is entitled to receive advice. We would usually expect these 4 aims to be addressed in a disputes thread:

1. Establish the facts of the case
2. Ensure the correct process was followed by the rail official dealing with the issue
3. Check the OP understands what has happened
4. Explain the options available to resolve the matter to the OP

For the benefit of the OP we will not permit off topic discussion, any such posts are likely to be deleted. For instance a debate about whether current rail industry practice could be improved, or about the complex nature of the railway ticketing system is not helpful to the OP. Should you wish to discuss such practices or your ideas for changes to them, you must post this in a separate thread in the appropriate forum.

If you spot any problem in a particular thread, please report relevant post(s) to us using the report button, rather than calling for moderator action in public. Due to the sheer number of posts on this forum, we are unable to review every single thread therefore unless reported to us, we may not notice every request made in this manner.

So I would ask that anyone seeking to help a poster in this section do keep that in mind. Many interesting (very interesting!) discussion can come from a dispute thread but those sorts of wider issues need to be posted in their own thread. These dispute threads need to be kept as clear and focused as possible to enable the OP to get the information that they require.
 

Beazer

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I’ve had a letter from GA telling me that some delay repay claims look suspicious, with a list of 5 or 6 claims from February/March 2020 and asking for an explanation within seven days.

1) is it reasonable at this stage to ask them for details as to why they think the claims are suspicious?
2) are there any similar threads on here that I can’t see - or does anyone have experience of dealing with this? Any signposting/guidance appreciated.

As a (previous) 4/5 day a week commuter I obviously can’t remember delays from almost a year ago. Thanks in advance.
I have received a similar letter for journeys in 2019.
They’re fishing.
Revenue must be down.
 

Tazi Hupefi

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I have received a similar letter for journeys in 2019.
They’re fishing.
Revenue must be down.
You can look at it another way through, in that they've obviously spent some time looking at your claims and found something unusual about them, or they wouldn't have written to you. Have they actually accused you of anything or are they just asking for further information?

I think some members of this forum are a tiny bit blinkered when it comes to train operators and seem to think that TOCs can circumnavigate laws and procedures, which on the whole is not true from what I'm hearing elsewhere. If they genuinely believe a crime has been committed, they have an obligation to investigate, as it would be negligent for them not to.

Bottom line is unless you do actually have something to hide, your reply will be very short, if you even choose to reply at all, safe in the knowledge that they surely cannot have any evidence of a crime against you, or at least nothing sufficient to bring a prosecution.
 

Jo78

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I have received the same letter today.
One paragraph says we have taken this step to write to you to ask if you’ve made an error in any of your claims and to see if it is possible to seek to resolve this matter with you without the need for these claims to be investigated further. Your claim pattern is not in line with what we see as a standard and we will look very closely going forwards at any further claims submitted.

based on your response we will either A) give you the opportunity to re pay any claims that have proved to have been made fraudulently and an admin charge or b) pass your file to the British Transport Police for further action to be
 

eoff

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Your claim pattern is not in line with what we see as a standard and we will look very closely going forwards at any further claims submitted.
Perhaps the Consumer's Association would like to hear from peaople who think they are being bullied into not making Delay Repay claims.
 

Jo78

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Perhaps the Consumer's Association would like to hear from peaople who think they are being bullied into not making Delay Repay claims.
Yes I agree, I haven’t travelled since 12 March last year.
 

joharry

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i have received the same letter today and i'm worried sick i have replied explaining i used a website called Delay Repay Genie which i paid a subscription to they would then email me delays i could claim on as i have a season ticket - now i'm worried that i was doing the wrong thing. can this go to court and i end up with criminal record?
 

Haywain

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i have received the same letter today and i'm worried sick i have replied explaining i used a website called Delay Repay Genie which i paid a subscription to they would then email me delays i could claim on as i have a season ticket - now i'm worried that i was doing the wrong thing. can this go to court and i end up with criminal record?
It is not out of the question.

Perhaps the Consumer's Association would like to hear from peaople who think they are being bullied into not making Delay Repay claims.
I don't think anybody is being bullied into not making genuine claims.
 

joharry

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in the letter i received it is £22 they say i claimed when i shouldn't have i have offered to pay anything back that i received and should not have done i went totally on the what the app i used said i could claim for
 

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