New DCF computer technology cracks down on food stamp and welfare fraud

Florida to be the first state to use new system

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MIAMI, Fla. - Department of Children and Families Secretary David Wilkins announced Tuesday that Florida would become the first state in the country to use new technology to crack down on food stamp and other welfare fraud.

He said the program will become a national model with other states expected to follow this fall.

Florida divvied out roughly $27 billion last year in food stamps, medical, temporary cash assistance and other welfare programs. The agency declined to say how much of that was fraudulent.

DCF obtained federal funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to pilot a program that uses computer technology similar to what credit card companies rely on to analyzes suspicious billing patterns to spot fraud.

Applicants will be asked a series of personalized questions that officials say crooks can't answer.

Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.