In Salzburg, the police have been investigating a new method of suspected social benefit fraud among asylum seekers for a long time.
For some time now, the Salzburg Social Security Fraud Task Force has been observing a new modus operandi in the area of refugee affairs. In the course of their asylum procedure, female recipients of basic social security with underage children pretend to be single. Information on the biological fathers of the children is concealed in order to be entitled to the statutory basic welfare provision of the state of Salzburg, since the high care and maintenance costs for the mothers and their children then apply.
In fact, however, it is established that in some cases the husbands and fathers of the women and children concerned have been resident, integrated and employed in Germany or in the EU area for a long time. Therefore, these men would also be proportionately responsible for maintenance.
Wrong father given
In this specific case, a 35-year-old Azerbaijani asylum seeker certified her husband, who had already been deported to his home country in 2016, as the father of their son, who was born in Austria in 2021, at the Hallein registry office. In the course of the checks and investigations, however, the police found out that the father, an Iranian asylum seeker, appears in the main association extract of the umbrella organization of Austrian social security institutions on compulsory insurance for the self-employed.
When asked about the facts, the Iranian asylum seeker stated that he earned a gross monthly salary of 5,000 to 6,000 euros as a parcel deliverer. He also stated that he was the biological father of the child responsible. The 28-year-old Iranian asylum seeker would therefore be obliged to support his son. As part of the obligatory assessment of need for assistance carried out by the province of Salzburg, receipts of 7,518 euros could be proven in the current account of the Azerbaijani woman.
Several thousand euros in damage
When questioned, the Azerbaijani asylum seeker stated that she had received the money from the Iranian father of the child. To this end, the state of Salzburg finally initiated family court proceedings regarding the child’s parentage at the Salzburg district court. This procedure revealed that the husband who was deported in 2016 is not the father of this child and the information provided by the mother was therefore incorrect.
The state of Salzburg put the financial damage in relation to the amounts of money received at EUR 4,776. The damage caused by the maintenance payments made by the state of Salzburg is still the subject of ongoing investigations. The state of Salzburg intends to reclaim the evaded amounts from the accused. The 35-year-old asylum seeker was also reported to the Salzburg public prosecutor for the offenses she had committed.