Fraud, Waste and Misuse

Erie County’s Fraud, Waste and Misuse Hotline is operated by the Erie County Controller. The purpose of the hotline is to allow anyone to report in confidence information regarding any fraud, waste or other misuse of county assets. You do not have to leave your name when making a report.

The Hotline number is 814-451-6369 and can be utilized 24 hours a day, 7 days per week. Alternatively, you may submit a report online. In making a report, please gather as much of the following information as possible:

  • Area where the suspected fraud is occurring
  • Person or persons involved
  • Nature of the suspected fraud or misuse — lying, cheating, stealing, etc.
  • Date and/or duration of occurrences
  • Approximate dollar amount or value involved
  • Any other witnesses

Possible examples of fraud or misuse

  • Suspected theft or misuse of county property or cash
  • False reporting of hours worked
  • Submission of illegitimate vendor invoices
  • Misrepresentation of expense reimbursements
  • Mismanagement of tax dollars
  • Fraudulent reporting of medical, disability or workers’ compensation claims
  • Spending in excess of what is reasonable and necessary
  • Violations of the county’s purchasing policy
  • Other suspected fraud or abuse
  • Suspicious behavior. Fraud perpetrators often display behavioral traits that serve as indicators of possible illegal behavior. The most commonly cited behavioral red flag was “living beyond their apparent means.” *

Why report fraud or misuse?

  • U.S. organizations lose an estimated 7% of their annual revenues to fraud. *
  • Governments are one of the most commonly victimized industries. *
  • Organizations with fraud hotlines significantly cut their losses due to fraud. *
  • Fraud is more likely to be detected by a tip than by other means. *
  • For governments that maintain hotlines, losses were reduced by 17 percent and duration of fraud was reduced by 30 percent.
  • Fraud and abuse are crimes everyone pays for.
  • Significant losses due to fraud could mean:
    • Increased Taxes
    • Decreased employee benefits
    • Tighter department budgets
    • Less services for citizens
  • It’s your money. You can make a difference!
  • Source: Association of Certified Fraud Examiners’ Report to the Nation