How to report Fraud or Misuse:
By phone: Call the Fraud Unit at (401) 574-8175. Please leave a message, and we will process your call promptly.
By mail: You may send a report to:
More information: RI Office of Management and Budget - Office of Internal Audit
What is Fraud?
Fraud occurs when a person makes false statements, and/or misrepresents facts or circumstances to the Department of Human Services in order to illegally receive cash assistance (RI Works), food assistance (SNAP), child care assistance (CCAP), general public assistance (GPA), long term care (LTC), child support services, rehabilitative services, veterans benefits, and Medicaid.
What is Misuse and Provider Fraud?
Misuse occurs when providers operate in ways inconsistent with sound fiscal, business, or medical practices. Misuse can result in great financial harm to both human services programs and Medicaid. Provider fraud can involve illegal practices from child care providers, doctors, dentists, nursing homes, home healthcare, medical equipment providers, pharmacies, mental health facilities, laboratories, transportation services, and more.
Examples of Fraud and Misuse:
- Failure to report income, insurance, or money received
- Failure to report the return of an absent parent to the home
- Failure to report a child out of the home
- Failure to report property or assets
- Claiming Rhode Island residence while living out of state
- Actively seeking drugs
- Committing crimes resulting in incarceration
- Providers receiving bills for services never provided
- Providers misrepresenting credentials
- Billing irregularities from providers
What is SNAP Fraud and Abuse?
It is illegal to knowingly use, transfer, buy, sell or possess Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, food purchased with SNAP benefits, or EBT cards in any way not authorized by the program. A person can be charged with a felony, and if found guilty, could be fined up to $250,000, be sentenced to 20 years in jail, or both. A person(s) found guilty of intentional program violations will be disqualified from the program. In addition, repayment of any unauthorized SNAP benefits issued is required.
More specifically, SNAP Fraud is an illegal act in which an individual obtains something of value through willful misrepresentation. SNAP Fraud may include intentional failure to properly report wages, household members, or trafficking of benefits. Trafficking is buying, selling, trading, or attempting to buy, sell, or trade benefits for cash, drugs, weapons, ammunition, or any other non-eligible item. Households CANNOT use SNAP benefits to buy:
- Beer, wine, liquor, cigarettes or tobacco
- Any nonfood items such as pet foods, soaps, paper products and household supplies
- Vitamins and medicines
- Food that will be eaten in the store