Report Fraud Against the Federal Government
If you believe that you have knowledge of fraud against the Federal Government – including fraud against other federally funded entities – there are several ways to report this fraud. The most commonly used methods are by reporting the fraud to the Inspector General for the federal agency that has been defrauded, by notifying the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), or by filing a “qui tam” action in federal court pursuant to the False Claims Act.
1. Notify the federal agency harmed
All federal agencies have an Inspector General whose duties include investigating fraud committed against their agency. The Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency (CIGIE) has provided the reporting tool available here to help whistleblowers report fraud to the appropriate Inspector General. In addition, CIGIE has compiled the directory available here of all federal agency Inspectors General with their hotline number and address to report fraud.
Pandemic-Related Fraud: If you are aware of fraud, waste, abuse, mismanagement of federal funding, or misrepresentations relating to the coronavirus pandemic response, including the federal financial assistance and stimulus programs, submit a hotline complaint online to the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee.
Health Care Fraud: To report health care fraud, call 1-800-HHS-TIPS (1-800-447-8477) or submit a hotline complaint online.
Cyber Fraud: To report cyber fraud, contact the Inspector General for the federal agency that has been defrauded.
2. Notify the FBI
You can report fraud to the FBI at the FBI’s tips and leads webpage. You also can contact your local FBI office. To find your local FBI office, visit the FBI’s Your Local FBI Office webpage.
3. File a qui tam action under the False Claims Act (FCA)
The FCA was first enacted in 1863 to fight fraud against the Federal Government. Under the FCA, individuals can file a complaint in federal court alleging financial fraud against the Federal Government. Because there are important procedural requirements involved in filing a False Claims Act qui tam action – such as filing the complaint under seal – many individuals obtain legal counsel before filing a qui tam action. Individuals who satisfy FCA rules regarding who may pursue qui tam actions, and whose lawsuits result in a recovery for the Federal Government, are entitled to a share of the government’s recovery.