A CAMPAIGN to target benefit cheats in Yorkshire was launched today.
Calls to the National Benefit Fraud Hotline increased by around 1,000 a week when chilling adverts, featuring former Bond villain Stephen Berkoff, were aired on radio stations over the summer.
Now, criminals should beware as they face a second onslaught with Targeting Benefit Fraud - The Sequel.
Latest figures show benefit fraud in Yorkshire and the Humber cost about £60m a year - the equivalent of some 1,860 teachers or 1,920 nurses.
Across the region last year there were more than 16,000 calls to the hotline by people who agree that benefit fraud is no different to stealing and should be stamped out.
Their calls provided vital tip-offs to Department of Work and Pensions fraud investigators and helped secure thousands of prosecutions, sanctions and cautions in Yorkshire.
Investigators can put suspected fraudsters under surveillance and can even turn up unannounced at their work.
By sharing information with other organisations, the department knows when and where people try to commit benefit fraud.
Anti-fraud minister Chris Pond said: "I'm grateful for the tremendous support we've had from people in Yorkshire and the Humber. Please keep it up.
"Your call to the hotline is free - but if you don't call it may cost you money.
"Fraudsters steal £2bn of public money every year - £80 for every family in Great Britain. That's money that should be spent on schools and hospitals," added Mr Pond.
Call the National Benefit Fraud Hotline in confidence on 0800 854440.