Fraud Investigations Privacy Notice

Thank you for visiting the Department of Social and Health Services - DSHS, Office of Fraud and Accountability website and reviewing our Privacy Notice. This statement addresses how we collect, use, and secure the information we obtain through your use of this website. This notice covers the following topics:

  • Information Collected and How We Use It
  • Personal Information and Choice
  • Public Access to Information
  • Security
  • Disclaimer
  • How You Can Contact Us

Information Collected and How We Use it

What information we collect if you only browse this site.
If you only browse, read pages, or download information, DFI will neither collect information about you nor store information from you.

What information we collect if you volunteer it.
If during your visit to our website you send us an e-mail, we collect the contents of your e-mail message (including audio, video and graphics information) along with your return e-mail address. We use this information to respond directly to you, address the issues you identify in your e-mail, further improve our website, or forward it to another agency for appropriate action.

If you report Welfare Fraud using our Online Complaint Form, the information we collect regarding a client is used to identify the client within the DSHS computer database--we can only investigate an identifiable DSHS client. Information we collect regarding the welfare fraud allegation is used to determine the scope of the investigation.

Personal Information and Choice

You may choose whether to provide personal information on-line.
"Personal information" is information about a natural person that is readily identifiable to that specific individual. Personal information includes such things as an individual's name, address, and phone number. A domain name or Internet Protocol address is not considered personal information.

We do not collect personal information about you unless you voluntarily provide it to us by sending us e-mail or by providing your name, address, and phone number while completing the Online Complaint Form to report Welfare Fraud. You may choose not to contact us by e-mail or provide any personal information using our online form. Your choice to not participate in these activities will not impair your ability to browse DFI's website, to read or download any information provided on the site, or to use the Online Complaint Form.

State law and the federal Privacy Act of 1974 protect personal information requested on the website or volunteered by the user. However, this information is a public record once you provide it, and the public may inspect or copy it if state or federal law does not protect it. You may choose to remain anonymous by not providing your personal information while completing the Online Complaint Form to report Welfare Fraud.

If you believe that we or anyone else is using your personal information for a purpose other than what you intended when you submitted it to us, you may contact the DSHS Privacy Officer as shown in the Contact Information Section of this statement.

It is not the intent of this site to collect information from children. However, any information collected from or voluntarily given to us by children either on-line or by e-mail will be treated the same as information given by an adult, and may be subject to public access.

Public Access to Information

In Washington, laws exist to ensure state government is open and the public has a right to access appropriate records and information possessed by state government. At the same time, there are exceptions to the public's right to access public records that serve various needs, including the privacy of individuals (RCW 42.56.210, Certain personal and other records exempt). Both state and federal law provide exceptions.

All of the information collected at this site becomes public records that may be subject to inspection and copying by members of the public, unless an exemption in law exists. The provisions of   RCW 42.56.070, Documents and indexes to be made public state that:

1) Each agency, in accordance with published rules, shall make available for public inspection and copying all public records, unless the record falls within the specific exemptions of *subsection (6) of this section, this chapter, or other statute which exempts or prohibits disclosure of specific information or records. To the extent required to prevent an unreasonable invasion of personal privacy interests protected by this chapter, an agency shall delete identifying details in a manner consistent with this chapter when it makes available or publishes any public record; however, in each case, the justification for the deletion shall be explained fully in writing.

In the event of a conflict between this Privacy Notice and the RCW 42.56.040, Duty to publish procedures or other law governing the agency’s disclosure of records, the Duty to publish procedures or other applicable law will control.


Office of Fraud and Accountability, as developer and manager of this website, has taken several steps to safeguard the integrity of its data and prevent unauthorized access to information maintained by Office of Fraud and Accountability. These measures are designed and intended to prevent corruption of data, block unknown or unauthorized access to our systems and information, and to provide reasonable protection of private information in our possession. The Online Complaint Form is a secured web page.

This information should not be construed in any way as giving business, legal, or other advice, or warranting as fail proof, the security of information provided via Office of Fraud and Accountability's website.


Office of Fraud and Accountability provides Internet links to sites of public and private organizations. When you link to a new site, you are no longer on the Office of Fraud and Accountability site, and this Privacy Notice will not apply. When you link to another website, you are subject to the privacy policy of that new site.

Please be aware that we do not create and maintain these sites and, therefore, are not responsible for the accuracy, timeliness, or completeness of the information presented at sites outside of DSHS.

Contact Information

Office of Fraud and Accountability maintains this website to enhance public access to information about the department’s services. While we make every effort to keep this information as timely and current as possible, errors can occur. To correct errors or offer comments about this website, contact the Office of Fraud and Accountability  Webmaster at:

DFI Webmaster
DSHS, Division of Fraud Investigations
PO Box 45817
Olympia, Washington 98504-5817
FAX (360) 664-0032

To offer comments about this Privacy Notice or present a privacy issue, you may contact the DSHS Privacy Officer at:

DSHS Privacy Officer
PO Box 45135
Olympia WA 98504-5115
FAX (360) 902-7855
Phone (360) 902-8278